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J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2018 Jul;106(5):1976-1986. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34009. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Antibiotic-eluting orthopedic device to prevent early implant associated infections: Efficacy, biocompatibility and biodistribution studies in an ovine model.

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Department of Animal Pathology, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.
Department of Chemical Engineering, Aragon Institute of Nanoscience (INA), University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.
Veterinary Hospital, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.
Laboratory of Chromatography and Spectroscopy, Institute of Chemical Synthesis and Homogeneous Catalysis (ISQCH), University of Zaragoza-CSIC, Zaragoza, Spain.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Hospital "Lozano Blesa", Zaragoza Spain and Instituto de Investigaciones Sanitarias de Aragon (ISS Aragon), Zaragoza, Spain.
Department of Anatomy, Embryology and Genetics, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.
Networking Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, CIBER-BBN, Madrid, Spain.


Infection of orthopedic devices is a major complication in the postsurgical period generating important health issues and economic consequences. Prevention strategies could be based on local release of antibiotics from the orthopedic device itself to avoid adhesion and growth of bacteria. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate the efficiency to prevent these infections by a cefazolin-eluting, perforated stainless steel implant in an in vivo ovine model. The device was placed in the tibia of sheep, one group receiving cefazolin-loaded implants whereas the control group received empty implants. All implants were experimentally infected by direct inoculation of Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538. In vitro cytotoxicological studies were also performed to check the effect of antibiotic on cell viability, integrity, and cycle. Results showed that sheep receiving cefazolin-loaded devices were able to avoid implant-associated infections, with normal tissue healing process. The antibiotic release followed a local concentric pattern as demonstrated by high-performance liquid chromatography detection in tissues. The in vitro results indicate the lack of relevant cytotoxic effects for the maximum antibiotic concentration released by the device. These results demonstrate the efficiency and safety of cefazolin-eluting implants in an ovine model to prevent early postsurgical infections of orthopedic devices.


Staphylococcus aureus; cefazolin; orthopedic implant; ovine model; postsurgical infection


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