November 18, 2016 – Joints and Antibiotics


Anchor lead:  Using technical advances with antibiotics can help avoid infections in replaced hips or knees, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Nanofibers and antibiotics applied to the surface of prosthetic hips or knees helps avoid infections in those joints, a study conducted in mice by Lloyd Miller and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown. Miller describes the method.

Miller: We’ve basically developed a nanofiber coating that can coat any metallic implant, and it involves two different nanofibers.  We load these nanofibers up with different antibiotics, and we optimized three different coatings, each containing two antibiotics, which was absolutely critical to have two.  The two is much more effective than one antibiotic, and we basically eradicated the exposure of any infection in a mouse model of an orthopedic implant infection.  :26

Infections of prostheses are an important public health issue, resulting in prolonged disability and rehabilitation for patients and costing the healthcare system millions of dollars annually.  Miller points out that since the materials used are already approved, transitioning to people in the clinic should be facilitated.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.