JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prophylaxis of infection and effects on osseointegration using a tobramycin-periapatite coating on titanium implants—an experimental study in the rabbit

Dirk Jan F Moojen, H Charles Vogely, André Fleer, Peter G J Nikkels, Paul A Higham, Abraham J Verbout, René M Castelein, Wouter J A Dhert
Journal of Orthopaedic Research: Official Publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2009, 27 (6): 710-6
19025776
No options are available for local antibiotic delivery from uncemented implants. By loading a porous titanium implant with a biomimetic HA-coating (PeriApatite, PA) with antibiotics, we could obtain adequate local antibiotic concentrations and reduce infection susceptibility. This study investigated the efficacy of a tobramycin-loaded PA-coated titanium foam implant in preventing infection, as well as the effects on osseointegration. In 72 New Zealand White rabbits, an uncoated (Ti), PA-coated (PA), or Tobramycin-PA-coated (PA-tobra) titanium foam rod was implanted intramedullary in the left tibiae after contamination of the implant bed with none (control), 10(3), 10(4) or 10(5) CFU Staphylococcus aureus. PA-tobra implants were loaded with 2.4 mg tobramycin. After 28 days analysis was done by bacteriology, histopathology and histomorphometry. Six percent of the contaminated PA-tobra rabbits were infected, whereas this was 53 and 67% for PA and Ti, respectively (p < 0.001). Quantitative cultures were also significantly lower in the PA-tobra group (p = 0.003). None of the control rabbits were infected. Histopathological and histomorphometrical scores were both better for the PA-tobra group, although only significant compared to Ti. No significant differences were observed between PA and Ti rabbits. We conclude that the application of tobramycin to PA-coated titanium foam implants appears to be an effective local antibiotic strategy for uncemented implants for infection prophylaxis and has a beneficial effect on implant fixation, which will result in improved long-term implant survival.

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