Local Delivery of Amikacin and Vancomycin from Chitosan Sponges Prevent Polymicrobial Implant-Associated Biofilm

Mil Med. 2018 Mar 1;183(suppl_1):459-465. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usx161.


Military personnel have high risk for infection, particularly those with combat-related extremity trauma. Administration of multiple or broad-spectrum antibiotics provides clinicians with a strategy for preventing biofilm-based medical device infections. Selection of effective antibiotic combinations based on common pathogens may be used to improve chitosan wound dressing sponge-based local antibiotic delivery systems. In vitro assays in this study demonstrate that vancomycin and amikacin have a synergistic relationship against a strain of osteomyelitis-producing Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, although an indifferent relationship was observed against Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In an in vivo model of orthopedic hardware-associated polymicrobial (S. aureus and Escherichia coli) biofilm, chitosan sponges loaded with a combination of vancomycin and amikacin at 5 mg/mL each showed a greater percentage of complete clearance, 50%, than either antibiotic alone, 8.33%. Doubling the loading concentration of the combination achieved a complete clearance rate of 100%, a four log-fold reduction of S. aureus on the wire and a six log-fold reduction in bone. E. coli was detected in bone of untreated animals but did not form biofilm on wires. Results demonstrate the clinical potential of chitosan sponges to prevent infection and illustrates antibiotic selection and loading concentrations necessary for effective biofilm prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amikacin / administration & dosage*
  • Amikacin / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biofilms / drug effects
  • Chitosan / pharmacology*
  • Chitosan / therapeutic use
  • Coinfection / drug therapy
  • Coinfection / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / methods
  • Vancomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin
  • Amikacin
  • Chitosan