Long acting anti-infection constructs on titanium

J Control Release. 2020 Oct 10:326:91-105. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2020.06.013. Epub 2020 Jun 21.


Peri-prosthetic joint infections (PJI) are a serious adverse event following joint replacement surgeries; antibiotics are usually added to bone cement to prevent infection offset. For uncemented prosthesis, alternative antimicrobial approaches are necessary in order to prevent PJI; however, despite elution of drug from the surface of the device being shown one of the most promising approach, no effective antimicrobial eluting uncemented device is currently available on the market. Consequently, there is a clinical need for non-antibiotic antimicrobial uncemented prosthesis as these devices present numerous benefits, particularly for young patients, over cemented artificial joints. Moreover, non-antibiotic approaches are driven by the need to address the growing threat posed by antibiotic resistance. We developed a multilayers functional coating on titanium surfaces releasing chlorhexidine, a well-known antimicrobial agent used in mouthwash products and antiseptic creams, embedding the drug between alginate and poly-beta-amino-esters. Chlorhexidine release was sustained for almost 2 months and the material efficacy and safety was proven both in vitro and in vivo. The coatings did not negatively impact osteoblast and fibroblast cells growth and were capable of reducing bacterial load and accelerating wound healing in an excisional wound model. As PJI can develop weeks and months after the initial surgery, these materials could provide a viable solution to prevent infections after arthroplasty in uncemented prosthetic devices and, simultaneously, help the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Keywords: Chlorhexidine; Joint replacement; Multilayers coating; PJI; Titanium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local*
  • Bone Cements
  • Humans
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections* / prevention & control
  • Titanium


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Bone Cements
  • Titanium