Formulation/Delivery A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has developed an antibiotic-releasing polymer that may greatly simplify the treatment of prosthetic joint infection. In their recent report published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the researchers describe how implants made from this material successfully eliminated two types of prosthetic infection in animal models. “Currently, most infections involving total joint replacement prostheses require a two-stage surgery, in which the patient’s daily activities are largely compromised for four to six months,” says Orhun Muratoglu, PhD, director of the Harris Orthopædics Laboratory in the MGH Department of Orthopædic Surgery, a co-author of the report. “Our finding that polyethylene, the most commonly used weight-bearing surface in total joint surgery, can be made to safely and effectively release antibiotics implies that fully weight-bearing implants made with this material could be used to treat infection in a single procedure, reducing both the inconvenience and the risk of complications for patients.” Delivering antibiotics to an infected prosthetic joint is challenging because of the limited supply of blood to the area. As Muratoglu describes, the standard treatment for prosthetic joint infection in the U.S. – which affects up to 30,000 people each year – involves removal of the implant and adjacent infected tissues and… Read full this story
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