eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2015   Volume No 30 – pages 232-247

Title: 3D printed bioceramics for dual antibiotic delivery to treat implant-associated bone infection

Authors: JA Inzana, RP Trombetta, EM Schwarz, SL Kates, HA Awad

Address: University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 665, Rochester, NY 14642, USA

E-mail: hani_awad at

Key Words: Bone, Staphylococcus aureus, osteomyelitis, three dimensional printing, calcium phosphate, ceramics, antibiotics, drug delivery, Vancomycin, Rifampin.

Publication date: November 4th 2015

Abstract: Surgical implant-associated bone infections (osteomyelitis) have severe clinical and socioeconomic consequences. Treatment of chronic bone infections often involves antibiotics given systemically and locally to the affected site in poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cement. Given the high antibiotic concentrations required to affect bacteria in biofilm, local delivery is important to achieve high doses at the infection site. PMMA is not suitable to locally-deliver some biofilm-specific antibiotics, including rifampin, due to interference with PMMA polymerisation. To examine the efficacy of localised, combinational antibiotic delivery compared to PMMA standards, we fabricated rifampin- and vancomycin-laden calcium phosphate scaffolds (CPS) by three-dimensional (3D) printing to treat an implant-associated Staphylococcus aureus bone infection in a murine model.
All vancomycin- and rifampin-laden CPS treatments significantly reduced the bacterial burden compared with vancomycin-laden PMMA. The bones were bacteria culture negative in 50 % of the mice that received sustained release vancomycin- and rifampin-laden CPS. In contrast, 100 % of the bones treated with vancomycin monotherapy using PMMA or CPS were culture positive. Yet, the monotherapy CPS significantly reduced the bacterial metabolic load following revision compared to PMMA. Biofilm persisted on the fixation hardware, but the infection-induced bone destruction was significantly reduced by local rifampin delivery.
These data demonstrate that, despite the challenging implant-retaining infection model, co-delivery of rifampin and vancomycin from 3D printed CPS, which is not possible with PMMA, significantly improved the outcomes of implant-associated osteomyelitis. However, biofilm persistence on the fixation hardware reaffirms the importance of implant exchange or other biofilm eradication strategies to complement local antibiotics.

Article download: Pages 232-247 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v030a16