The occurrence of an implant-associated infection (IAI) with the formation of a persisting bacterial biofilm remains a major risk following orthopedic biomaterial implantation. Yet, progress in the fabrication of tunable and durable implant coatings with sufficient bactericidal activity to prevent IAI has been limited. Here, an electrospun composite coating was optimized for the combinatorial and sustained delivery of antibiotics. Antibiotics-laden poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly`1q`(lactic-co glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanofibers were electrospun onto lattice structured titanium (Ti) implants. In order to achieve tunable and independent delivery of vancomycin (Van) and rifampicin (Rif), we investigated the influence of the specific drug-polymer interaction and the nanofiber coating composition on the drug release profile and durability of the polymer-Ti interface. We found that a bi-layered nanofiber structure, produced by electrospinning of an inner layer of [PCL/Van] and an outer layer of [PLGA/Rif], yielded the optimal combinatorial drug release profile. This resulted in markedly enhanced bactericidal activity against planktonic and adherent Staphylococcus aureus for 6 weeks as compared to single drug delivery. Moreover, after 6 weeks, synergistic bacterial killing was observed as a result of sustained Van and Rif release. The application of a nanofiber-filled lattice structure successfully prevented the delamination of the multi-layer coating after press-fit cadaveric bone implantation. This new lattice design, in conjunction with the multi-layer nanofiber structure, can be applied to develop tunable and durable coatings for various metallic implantable devices. This is particularly appealing to tune the release of multiple antimicrobial agents over a period of weeks to prevent early and delayed onset IAI.
Full Access Link: Journal of Controlled Release