Implant infections and antibiotic-impregnated silicone rubber coating

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1989 Feb;52(2):223-9. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.52.2.223.


A method is described for coating silicone rubber-encapsulated implant devices with an outer layer of silicone rubber impregnated with a mixture of gentamicin sulphate and diethanolamine fusidate. A coating of this sort provides bactericidal activity lasting for a few days in the film of fluid surrounding such an implant. When used for coating our implants, the retrospective rate of implant infections believed to have been introduced at the time of surgery was reduced to 0.7% (coated), compared with 10.0% (uncoated), a highly significant difference (p less than 0.001). Systemic perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis was not shown to confer any such benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Escherichia coli Infections / prevention & control
  • Ethanolamines / administration & dosage*
  • Gentamicins / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nervous System Diseases / surgery
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Silicone Elastomers*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*


  • Ethanolamines
  • Gentamicins
  • Silicone Elastomers
  • diethanolamine