Crosslinkable Polymer Coating Prevents Bacterial Infection on Implant Surface

Tech ID: 30547 / UC Case 2018-871-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery have developed a polymer implant coating that mitigates bacterial infections on the implant surface.


Antibiotic resistance limits a drug’s therapeutic effect and, according to the World Health Organization, is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. Antibiotic activity is maintained by frequent therapeutic administration, such that the plasma drug concentration remains consistently above the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). Extended-release delivery systems have potential to maintain the antibiotic concentration above the MIC over long time periods, thereby decreasing antibiotic resistance incidents. However, the most persistent problem with such delivery systems is the initial burst release of the antibiotics, which cannot keep the plasma drug concentration above the MIC. Thus, there is a need for drug delivery systems that avoid burst release and maintain drug concentrations such that antibiotic resistance is mitigated.


UCLA researchers have developed an implant coating that releases the antibiotic vancomycin in a sustained manner. This sustained release of antibiotics is expected to prevent bacterial infections arising after medical implant insertion. The antibiotic is encapsulated by a photo crosslinked polymer, which creates an additional diffusion resistance that reduces the initial burst release. Furthermore, the coating process is quick, taking only 5 minutes, and can be applied during the implant insertion procedure.


  • Implant coating 
  • Extended-release drug delivery systems


  • Therapeutic released in sustained manner 
  • Photo crosslinked polymer reduces initial burst release 
  • Coating process is quick 
  • Process can be applied right before implant insertion

State Of Development

UCLA researchers have successfully demonstrated the prevention of periprosthetic joint infection in vivo after a titanium implant insertion from the knee joint into the femoral canal.


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  • Bernthal, Nicholas

Other Information


Device coatings, implant coatings, vancomycin, drug delivery systems, sustained release, antibiotic resistance, burst release, photo crosslinked polymer, periprosthetic joint infection

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