Review of calcium-sulphate-based ceramics and synthetic bone substitutes used for antibiotic delivery in PJI and osteomyelitis treatment

EFORT Open Rev. 2021 May 4;6(5):297-304. doi: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.200083. eCollection 2021 May.


Infection in orthopaedic and trauma surgery remains a destructive complication with particularly challenging diagnosis and treatment due to bacterial antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation.Along with surgical debridement and systemic antibiotics, an important type of adjuvant therapy is local antibiotic delivery, with the purpose of eliminating bacterial colonization and biofilm development.Calcium sulphate, as a synthetic absorbable biomaterial used for local antibiotic delivery, has experienced an increasing popularity during the last decade, with multiple promoted advantages such as predictable antibiotic elution kinetics, complete and quick biodegradation, good biocompatibility, and limited associated complications.A series of commercially available antibiotic-delivery systems based on calcium sulphate are under investigation and in clinical use, with different presentations, compositions, and application techniques.The current article presents the main available calcium-sulphate-based products and the existing data about the clinical and preclinical research results, stemming from their implementation as local antibiotic carriers for surgical site and implant-associated infections treatment and prevention. Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:297-304. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.200083.

Keywords: antibiotic delivery; biofilm; biomaterial; calcium sulphate; infection.

Publication types

  • Review