Efficacy of antimicrobial agents delivered to hernia meshes using an adaptable thermo-responsive hyaluronic acid-based coating

Hernia. 2020 Dec;24(6):1201-1210. doi: 10.1007/s10029-019-02096-3. Epub 2019 Nov 28.


Purpose: Mesh-related infection is a critical outcome for patients with hernia defect stabilized with synthetic or biological meshes. Even though bioactive meshes loaded with antibiotics or antiseptics are slowly emerging in the market, the available solutions still lack versatility. Here, we proposed a polymer solution, i.e., hyaluronic acid-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (HApN), which forms a hydrogel to be used as coating for meshes only when it reaches body temperature.

Methods: We assessed how the gelation of HApN was influenced by the incorporation of different antibiotic and antiseptic formulations, and how this gel can be used to coat several mesh types. The impact of the coating on the elastic behavior of a macroporous mesh was tested under cyclic elongation condition. Finally, we selected two different coating formulations, one based on antibiotics (gentamicin + rifampicin) and one based on antiseptic (chlorhexidine) and tested in vitro their antimicrobial efficacies.

Results: HApN can be used as carrier for different antimicrobial agents, without having a strong influence on its gelation behavior. Porous or dense meshes can be coated with this polymer, even though the stability was not optimal on macroporous meshes such as Optilene when pores are too large. HApN loaded with drugs inhibited in vitro the growth of several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

Conclusion: Compared to the available technologies developed to endow meshes with antibacterial activity, the proposed HApN offers further versatility with potential to prevent mesh-related infection in hernioplasty.

Keywords: Antibacterial; Coating; Hernia mesh; Hydrogel; Infection; Thermo-responsive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hernia / drug therapy*
  • Herniorrhaphy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Hyaluronic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Surgical Mesh / microbiology*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Hyaluronic Acid