Physical hydrogels have been obtained from hyaluronic acid derivatized with polylactic acid in the presence or in the absence of polyethylene glycol chains. They have been extemporarily loaded with antibacterial agents, such as vancomycin and tobramycin. These medicated hydrogels have been used to coat titanium disks (chosen as simple model of orthopedic prosthesis) and in vitro studies in simulated physiological fluid have been performed as a function of time and for different drug loading and polymer concentration values. Sterilization process performed on the hydrogels does not change their rheological behavior and release properties as well as the chemical structure of starting copolymers. A preliminary test has been performed by coating with the hydrogel a prosthesis that has been inserted in a seat of a lyophilized human femur, to confirm the ability of the hydrogel to adhere to the prosthesis surface also after its insertion in the implant seat. Cell compatibility of obtained hydrogels has been confirmed in vitro by using human dermal fibroblasts chosen as a model cell line. Obtained results suggest the potential use of these hydrogels in the orthopedic field, in particular for the production of antibacterial coatings of prostheses for implant in the human or animal body in the prevention and/or treatment of post surgical infections.
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