Extended local release and improved bacterial eradication by adding rifampicin to a biphasic ceramic carrier containing gentamicin or vancomycin

Sujeesh Sebastian, Felix Tandberg, Yang Liu, Deepak B Raina, Magnus Tägil, Mattias Collin, Lars Lidgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS: There is a lack of biomaterial-based carriers for the local delivery of rifampicin (RIF), one of the cornerstone second defence antibiotics for bone infections. RIF is also known for causing rapid development of antibiotic resistance when given as monotherapy. This in vitro study evaluated a clinically used biphasic calcium sulphate/hydroxyapatite (CaS/HA) biomaterial as a carrier for dual delivery of RIF with vancomycin (VAN) or gentamicin (GEN).

METHODS: The CaS/HA composites containing RIF/GEN/VAN, either alone or in combination, were first prepared and their injectability, setting time, and antibiotic elution profiles were assessed. Using a continuous disk diffusion assay, the antibacterial behaviour of the material was tested on both planktonic and biofilm-embedded forms of standard and clinical strains of Staphylococcus aureus for 28 days. Development of bacterial resistance to RIF was determined by exposing the biofilm-embedded bacteria continuously to released fractions of antibiotics from CaS/HA-antibiotic composites.

RESULTS: Following the addition of RIF to CaS/HA-VAN/GEN, adequate injectability and setting of the CaS/HA composites were noted. Sustained release of RIF above the minimum inhibitory concentrations of S. aureus was observed until study endpoint (day 35). Only combinations of CaS/HA-VAN/GEN + RIF exhibited antibacterial and antibiofilm effects yielding no viable bacteria at study endpoint. The S. aureus strains developed resistance to RIF when biofilms were subjected to CaS/HA-RIF alone but not with CaS/HA-VAN/GEN + RIF.

CONCLUSION: Our in vitro results indicate that biphasic CaS/HA loaded with VAN or GEN could be used as a carrier for RIF for local delivery in clinically demanding bone infections.Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2022;11(11):787-802.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-802
Number of pages16
JournalBone & joint research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Orthopedics
  • Infectious Medicine

Free keywords

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Biofilm
  • Biomaterial
  • Bone infections
  • Calcium sulphate
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Rifampicin
  • gentamicin
  • vancomycin
  • antibiotics
  • composites
  • hydroxyapatite
  • strains


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