Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early studies show microspheres may prevent bone infections after joint replacement

Date:
January 31, 2014
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Summary:
While total joint surgeries have a low risk of infection -- between 1 and 3 percent -- in those rare instances when bone infection sets in, it can be a devastating setback for patients. Researchers have evaluated an application that may prevent implant-associated bone infections all together.

Currently more than 1 million knee replacements and hip replacements are performed each year in the United States, and with the aging population, the number of total joint replacements is expected to grow.

While total joint surgeries have a low risk of infection -- between 1 and 3 percent -- in those rare instances when bone infection sets in, it can be a devastating setback for patients.

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and collaborators at Rice University and Shriners Hospital for Children-Houston have evaluated an application that may prevent implant-associated bone infections all together.

In a small preclinical study, researchers studied whether the use of antibiotic-containing microspheres prevented infections in grossly contaminated wounds. Porous metal implants that were coated with the microspheres prevented infection in 100 percent of the 11 specimens. In the tissue and bone surrounding implants that were not coated with the antibiotic delivery system, infection occurred at a rate of 64 percent.

The findings are published this month in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. This is the third in a series of research studies lead investigator Catherine Ambrose, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UTHealth Medical School, and collaborators have published that demonstrate the potential of antibiotic microspheres. The first two studies confirmed in animal models that the microspheres were safe and effective in treating bone infection associated with orthopaedic implants.

Ambrose said the microspheres would appear to overcome a number of obstacles health care teams currently face when treating bone infection, also called osteomyelitis. The microspheres could be administered directly at the surgical site, eliminating the need for systemic antibiotics that impact the entire body. Made of biodegradable polymers, the antibiotics are gradually released over a period of weeks and eventually the microspheres dissolve, allowing sufficient time to prevent or treat an infection while reducing the likelihood of additional surgeries. Plus, Ambrose said, because the antibiotic delivery system is microscopic in size, it does not appear to interfere with the healing after a total joint replacement.

If future clinical studies show comparable findings in patients, Terry Clyburn, M.D., professor of orthopaedics and director of Total Joint Services at the UTHealth Medical School, said antibiotic-containing microspheres could serve to prevent these rare but devastating and often hard-to-treat infections.

"When these infections occur, it can be a huge setback for patients," Clyburn said. "Sometimes the implant has to be removed entirely to treat a painful infection and they require multiple surgeries. If these microspheres could prevent those infections from happening in the first place, this would be a significant advancement."

Ambrose said the microspheres may also have applications in the treatment of open fractures in trauma patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Catherine G. Ambrose, Terry A. Clyburn, Joerg Mika, Gloria R. Gogola, Heidi B. Kaplan, Audrey Wanger, Antonios G. Mikos. Evaluation of Antibiotic-Impregnated Microspheres for the Prevention of Implant-Associated Orthopaedic Infections. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American), 2014; 96 (2): 128 DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.L.01750

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "Early studies show microspheres may prevent bone infections after joint replacement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140131093557.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. (2014, January 31). Early studies show microspheres may prevent bone infections after joint replacement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140131093557.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "Early studies show microspheres may prevent bone infections after joint replacement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140131093557.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins