Chlorhexidine-releasing implant coating on intramedullary nail reduces infection in a rat model

SM Shiels
2018 European Cells and Materials  
The use of internal intramedullary nails for long bone fracture fixation is a common practice among surgeons. Bacteria naturally attach to these devices, increasing the risk for wound infection, which can result in non-or malunion, additional surgical procedures and extended hospital stays. Intramedullary nail surface properties can be modified to reduce bacterial colonisation and potentially infectious complications. In the current study, a coating combining a non-fouling property with
more » ... chlorhexidine for orthopaedic implantation was tested. Coating stability and chlorhexidine release were evaluated in vitro. Using a rat model of intramedullary fixation and infection, the effect of the coating on microbial colonisation and fracture healing was evaluated in vivo by quantitative microbiology, micro-computed tomography, plain radiography, three-point bending and/or histology. Low dose systemic cefazolin was administered to increase the similarities to clinical practice, without overshadowing the effect of the anti-infective coating. When introduced into a contaminated wound, the non-fouling chlorhexidine-coated implant reduced the overall bacteria colonisation within the bone and on the implant, reduced the osteolysis and increased the radiographic union, confirming its potential for reducing complications in wounds at high risk of infection. However, when implanted into a sterile wound, non-union increased. Further studies are required to best optimise the anti-microbial effectiveness, while not sacrificing fracture union.
doi:10.22203/ecm.v035a13 pmid:29565097 fatcat:3dsyezwdjra67ozl6agr5kxrgy