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Combination Antibiotic Delivery in PMMA Provides Sustained Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Activity and Allows for Postimplantation Refilling

Cyphert, Erika L., Lu, Chao-yi, Marques, Dylan W., Learn, Greg D., von Recum, Horst A.
Biomacromolecules 2019 v.21 no.2 pp. 854-866
antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, antimicrobial properties, bacteria, beta-cyclodextrin, cement, drugs, mechanical properties, mechanical testing, microparticles, patients, polymethylmethacrylate, surgeons, surgery
Antibiotics are commonly added to poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) by surgeons to locally treat infections such as in bone cement for joint replacement surgeries, as well as implantable antimicrobial “beads”. However, this strategy is of limited value in high-risk patients where infections can be recurrent or chronic and otherwise hard to treat. Also, when only one drug is incorporated and applied toward polymicrobial infections (multiple bacterial species), there is a high risk that bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance. To combat these limitations, we developed a combination antibiotic PMMA composite system composed of rifampicin-filled β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) microparticles added into PMMA filled with a second drug. Different formulations were evaluated through zone of inhibition, drug activity, antibiotic release, and refilling, as well as mechanical studies. Our combination antibiotic PMMA composite system achieved up to an 8-fold increase in the duration of antimicrobial activity in comparison to clinically used antibiotic-filled PMMA. Inclusion of CD microparticles also allowed for refilling of additional antibiotics after simulated implantation, resulting in additional windows of therapeutic efficacy. Mechanical testing showed that our tested formulations did have a small, but significant decrease in mechanical properties when compared to unmodified controls. While further studies are needed to determine whether the tested formulations are still suitable for load-bearing applications (e.g., bone cement), our composites are certainly amenable for a variety of nonload-bearing applications (e.g., antimicrobial “beads” and temporary spacer in two-stage arthroscopic revisions).