Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the ability of DAC®, a fast resorbable, antibacterial-loaded hydrogel coating, to prevent acute bacterial colonization in an in vivo model of an intra-operatively highly contaminated implant.
Methods: A histocompatibility study was performed in 10 adult New Zealand rabbits. Then, methicillin-resistant Staph. aureus were inoculated in the femur of 30 adult New Zealand rabbits at the time of intra-medullary nailing; vancomycin-loaded DAC® coated nails were compared to controls regarding local and systemic infection development.
Results: Histocompatibility study showed no detrimental effect of DAC® hydrogel on bone tissue after 12 weeks from implant. After seven days from implant, none of the rabbits receiving vancomycin-loaded DAC® nail showed positive blood cultures, compared to all the controls; vancomycin-loaded DAC® coating was associated with local bacterial load reduction ranging from 72 to 99 %, compared to controls.
Conclusions: Vancomycin-loaded DAC® coating is able to significantly reduce bacterial colonization in an animal model of an intra-operatively highly contaminated implant, without local or general side effect.