Personalized and Defect-Specific Antibiotic-Laden Scaffolds for Periodontal Infection Ablation

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2021 Oct 27;13(42):49642-49657. doi: 10.1021/acsami.1c11787. Epub 2021 Oct 12.


Periodontitis compromises the integrity and function of tooth-supporting structures. Although therapeutic approaches have been offered, predictable regeneration of periodontal tissues remains intangible, particularly in anatomically complex defects. In this work, personalized and defect-specific antibiotic-laden polymeric scaffolds containing metronidazole (MET), tetracycline (TCH), or their combination (MET/TCH) were created via electrospinning. An initial screening of the synthesized fibers comprising chemo-morphological analyses, cytocompatibility assessment, and antimicrobial validation against periodontopathogens was accomplished to determine the cell-friendly and anti-infective nature of the scaffolds. According to the cytocompatibility and antimicrobial data, the 1:3 MET/TCH formulation was used to obtain three-dimensional defect-specific scaffolds to treat periodontally compromised three-wall osseous defects in rats. Inflammatory cell response and new bone formation were assessed by histology. Micro-computerized tomography was performed to assess bone loss in the furcation area at 2 and 6 weeks post implantation. Chemo-morphological and cell compatibility analyses confirmed the synthesis of cytocompatible antibiotic-laden fibers with antimicrobial action. Importantly, the 1:3 MET/TCH defect-specific scaffolds led to increased new bone formation, lower bone loss, and reduced inflammatory response when compared to antibiotic-free scaffolds. Altogether, our results suggest that the fabrication of defect-specific antibiotic-laden scaffolds holds great potential toward the development of personalized (i.e., patient-specific medication) scaffolds to ablate infection while affording regenerative properties.

Keywords: electrospinning; infection; inflammation; oral bacteria; periodontal regeneration; periodontitis.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bone Regeneration / drug effects
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / drug effects
  • Materials Testing
  • Metronidazole / chemistry
  • Metronidazole / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Particle Size
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Periodontitis / pathology
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / drug effects
  • Prevotella intermedia / drug effects
  • Tetracycline / chemistry
  • Tetracycline / pharmacology*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Metronidazole
  • Tetracycline