Artificial joint implants tend to be breeding grounds for bacterial infections, often developing biofilms that eventually require revision surgeries. Patients are requried to stay on antibiotics following implantation and confirmed infections can require an even greater antibiotic punch. There have been attempts to integrate antibiotics within the implants so they prevent bacteria from taking hold, but success has been limited.
Now researchers at Johns Hopkins University are reporting in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on a new coating for orthopedic implants that can release multiple antibiotics in a controlled fashion. The coating can be applied to just about any metal implant, potentially including cardiac devices such as pacemakers.
The coating material consists of poly(lactic-coglycolic acid) (PLGA) nanofibers embedded in a poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) film, both a type of polymer already used in medicine. The polymers are impregnated with different antibiotics, the ratio of how much of which antibiotic goes into which polymer, and the proportion of each polymer used, defining the timing of the release of the antibiotics.
Testing this coating on mouse models showed that the antibiotics were “highly effective” in preventing infections while improving how well nearby bone tissue integrated itself with the implants.
Via: Johns Hopkins…