Postoperative infection after cranial surgery is a serious complication that requires immediate recognition and rigorous treatment. On top of the initial costly procedure, a brain surgery patient suffering from an infection must often endure a second procedure to remove and wash out an intracranial abscess, as well as a lengthy hospital stay for antibiotic treatment of the infection. Unfortunately, traditional treatment options for such infections typically utilize local-delivery methods which may result in inflammation, and require post-treatment removal of the parenteral delivery instrument.
To tackle this issue, a team of scientists in Taiwan have utilized a biodegradable plastic material in the construction of a nanofibrous membrane that can be used to locally deliver Vancomycin, a powerful antibiotic. This technology allows the membrane to effectively treat the infection for over 8 weeks without causing inflammation. At the end of the treatment period, the membrane does not require removal, as it is fully biodegradable. Hopefully this technology will be adopted in the near future, so as to significantly lower the cost of treatment for the 5-10% of brain surgery patients that will suffer from infection.
From ACS Chemical Neuroscience:
“The experimental results suggested that the biodegradable nanofibers can release high concentrations of vancomycin for more than 8 weeks in the cerebral cavity of rats. Furthermore, the membranes can cover the wall of the cavity after the removal of abscess more completely and achieve better drug delivery without inducing adverse mass effects in the brain. Histological examination also showed no inflammation reaction of the brain tissues. By adopting the biodegradable, nanofibrous drug-eluting membranes, we will be able to achieve long-term deliveries of various antibiotics in the cerebral cavity to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of cerebral infections.”
American Chemical Society: Material in dissolvable sutures could treat brain infections, reducing hospital stays…
ACS Chemical Neuroscience: Biodegradable Drug-Eluting Poly[lactic-co-glycol acid] Nanofibers for the Sustainable Delivery of Vancomycin to Brain Tissue: In Vitro and in Vivo Studies