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Orthopedics. 2014 Aug;37(8):e669-72. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20140728-50.

Calcium carbonate powder containing gentamicin for mixing with bone grafts.


Bone grafts are used for reconstructing bone defects caused by implant-associated complications, trauma, and tumors. Surgery with bone allografts is complex and time consuming; therefore, it is prone to a higher infection rate (2.0%-2.5%). In the case of site infection, systemically administered antibiotics cannot reach the infected bone graft. This study evaluated the use of resorbable bone graft substitute powder (HERAFILL; Heraeus Medical GmbH, Wehrheim, Germany) as a bone void-filling material as well as an antibiotic carrier for mixing with bone grafts. The antibiotic activity of the bone chips mixed with HERAFILL powder was measured by drug release tests and bacterial susceptibility with Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Staphylococcus aureus. HERAFILL powder was added to the bone chips (bone chips/HERAFILL; w/w = 1:1), mixed with a spatula, and vortexed for 1 minute. Gentamicin base release was evaluated in phosphate-buffered saline for up to 7 days using B subtilis bioassay. Antimicrobial efficacy was tested with S aureus and S epidermidis. The average amount of gentamicin base released from bone chips mixed with HERAFILL at 0 to 12 hours was 99.66 mg/mL. On day 7, the gentamicin base released 0.42 mg/mL. The elution released from bone chips mixed with HERAFILL promoted the formation of a zone of inhibition on S epidermidis and S aureus plates. This study confirmed the capacity of bone grafts to act as antibiotic carriers once mixed with HERAFILL powder. Bone chips mixed with HERAFILL showed efficacy against S aureus and S epidermidis.

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