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Bacterial contamination is hypothesized to be one reason for the development of capsular contracture after alloplastic breast reconstruction using silicone breast implants. The role of fungal colonization or infection in this context as well as the question if microorganisms can penetrate the shell of silicone breast implants remains an unresolved question to date. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess whether fungal spores are able to penetrate the shell of silicone implants. In an experimental in vitro setup with different arrangements of growth compartments, silicone chambers were placed in culture dishes filled with Aspergillus minimal medium or liquid culture medium. Inoculation was performed with conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus and incubated for seven days. On a daily basis, plates were inspected for conidial germination and hyphal growth. In none of the different experimental settings nutrients or hyphae of Aspergillus fumigatus were able to penetrate the silicone material. Fungal spores and hyphae do not permeate through an intact silicone shell used in breast implants; thus, the silicone material serves as an impenetrable barrier.


Raymund E Horch, Sven Krappmann, Michaela Dümig, Marweh Schmitz, Annika Kengelbach-Weigand, Dirk W Schubert, Thomas Kremser, Christian Bogdan, Ingo Ludolph. Aspergillus fumigatus Spores Are Not Able to Penetrate Silicone Breast Implant Shells. Annals of plastic surgery. 2020 Sep;85(3):306-309

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PMID: 31800548

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