Antimicrobial activity of antiseptic-coated orthopaedic devices

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 1998 Apr;10(1):83-6. doi: 10.1016/s0924-8579(98)00017-x.


Antimicrobial coating of medical devices, including fracture fixation devices, has evolved as a potentially effective method for preventing device-related infections. We examined the in vitro antimicrobial activity of titanium cylinders coated with the antiseptic combination of chlorhexidine and chloroxylenol. The coated devices provided zones of inhibition against Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans, at baseline and up to 8 weeks after incubation of the coated cylinders in human serum at 37 degrees C. This durable antimicrobial activity was attributed to the relatively slow leaching of chlorhexidine and chloroxylenol from the coated cylinders as measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. These results suggest that antiseptic-coated orthopaedic devices may provide broad-spectrum and durable antimicrobial protection against device-related infection.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local* / pharmacology
  • Blood
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Orthopedic Fixation Devices*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / drug effects
  • Xylenes / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Xylenes
  • chloroxylenol
  • Chlorhexidine