UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have developed a novel polymer that can be used as an antimicrobial coating on surgical implants.
Bacterial infections and biofilm formation is a major post-operative complication associated with surgical implants. As such, the market for antimicrobial medical device coatings in US alone is projected to grow to $9.0 billion at a CAGR of 7.3%. Biopolymer coatings are widely used on the surgical implants to prevent infections as they can locally release antibiotics. However, the current products such as PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate), iodine and nanosilver suffer from toxicity concerns, are non-biodegradable and only operate via passive antibiotic release. There is a large unmet need for a robust antimicrobial coating polymer.
UCLA researchers have developed a novel, multi-functional polymer that alleviates the drawbacks of current antimicrobial products. The polymer is easily synthesized by a two-step process and forms hydrogels easily. It is non-toxic, biodegradable and releases antibiotics slowly through both passive elution and active mechanisms causing a high local concentration of the antibiotic. In vivo experiments in a mouse model show that it efficiently releases antibiotics for up to 14 days.
Biopolymer, Implants, Antibiotic delivery, Drug Delivery, Orthopaedic Implants, Copolymer, Antimicrobial implant coating