Antibiotic-loaded bone void filler accelerates healing in a femoral condylar rat model

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Demineralised bone matrix (DBM) is rarely used for the local delivery of prophylactic antibiotics. Our aim, in this study, was to show that a graft with a bioactive glass and DBM combination, which is currently available for clinical use, can be loaded with tobramycin and release levels of antibiotic greater than the minimum inhibitory concentration forStaphylococcus aureus without interfering with the bone healing properties of the graft, thus protecting the graft and surrounding tissues from infection.

Materials and Methods

Antibiotic was loaded into a graft and subsequently evaluated for drug elution kinetics and the inhibition of bacterial growth. A rat femoral condylar plug model was used to determine the effect of the graft, loaded with antibiotic, on bone healing.


We found that tobramycin loaded into a graft composed of bioglass and DBM eluted antibiotic above the minimum inhibitory concentration for three daysin vitro. It was also found that the antibiotic loaded into the graft produced no adverse effects on the bone healing properties of the DBM at a lower level of antibiotic.


This antibiotic-loaded bone void filler may represent a promising option for the delivery of local antibiotics in orthopaedic surgery.

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