Microbiological and pharmacological tests on new antibiotic-loaded PMMA-based composites for the treatment of osteomyelitis

Gianluca Giavaresi, Elisa Bertazzoni Minelli, Maria Sartori, Anna Benini, Tommaso Della Bora, Vittorio Sambri, Paolo Gaibani, Veronica Borsari, Francesca Salamanna, Lucia Martini, Nicolò Nicoli Aldini, Milena Fini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Local antibiotic diffusion in rabbit femurs from two new PMMA-based and nail-shaped composites, enriched with β-tricalcium phosphate (P-TCP) and BaSO4 or only with BaSO4 (P-BaSO4), and soaked in a solution of gentamicin (G) and vancomycin (V) was studied. Nails were implanted into the intramedullary cavity of healthy and osteomyelitic femurs to study the resolution of infection and to quantify the antibiotic penetration into bone by microbiological, pharmacological, and histological tests. A significant progression of osteomyelitis was recorded 7 weeks after MRSA inoculation, whereas no bacteria were found in animals treated with antibiotic-loaded nails as confirmed by microbiology and histology (Smeltzer score). The release of both antibiotics from composites was high and prompt both in healthy and infected bone; the amount of V was higher than that of G in all bone samples. Antibiotics of both composites were still present in bone 3 weeks after nail implantation. The P-BaSO4 composite released a lower amount of antibiotics than did P-TCP. The G-V combination in vivo exerted a synergistic bactericidal effect, which was confirmed by microbiological, histological, and clinical results (no infection). These new porous PMMA composites, soaked in G-V solution in the operating room, might be an effective and useful drug delivery system for osteomyelitis treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1800


  • Calcium phosphate
  • Composite/hard tissue
  • Drug delivery/release
  • Experimental osteomyelitis
  • Osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Periodontics
  • Oral Surgery
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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