Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen in bone associated infections due to its ability to adhere and form biofilms on bone and/or implants. Moreover, recrudescent and chronic infections have been associated with S. aureus capacity to invade and persist within osteoblast cells. With the growing need of novel therapeutic tools, this research aimed to evaluate some important key biological properties of a novel carrier system composed of acrylic bone cement (polymethylmethacrylate – PMMA), loaded with a release modulator (lactose) and an antibiotic (levofloxacin).
Levofloxacin-loaded bone cement (BC) exhibited antimicrobial effects against planktonic and biofilm forms of S. aureus (evaluated by a flow chamber system). Moreover, novel BC formulation showed high anti-bacterial intraosteoblast activity. This fact led to the conclusion that levofloxacin released from BC matrices could penetrate the cell membrane of osteoblasts and be active against S. aureus strains in the intracellular environment. Furthermore, levofloxacin-BC formulations showed no significant in vitro cytotoxicity and no allergic potential (measured by the in vivo chorioallantoic membrane assay). Our results indicate that levofloxacin-loaded BC has potential as a local antibiotic delivery system for treating S. aureus associated bone infections.