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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 856859, 7 pages
Research Article

Delivery of Antibiotics from Cementless Titanium-Alloy Cubes May Be a Novel Way to Control Postoperative Infections

1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
2Department of Microbiology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa

Received 13 January 2015; Accepted 27 February 2015

Academic Editor: Konstantinos Anagnostakos

Copyright © 2015 Martin B. Bezuidenhout et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bacterial colonisation and biofilm formation onto orthopaedic devices are difficult to eradicate. In most cases infection is treated by surgical removal of the implant and cleaning of the infected area, followed by extensive treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Such treatment causes great discomfort, is expensive, and is not always successful. In this study we report on the release of vancomycin through polyethersulfone membranes from channels in cementless titanium-alloy cubes. The cubes were constructed with LaserCUSING from Ti6Al4V ELI powder. Vancomycin was released by non-Fickian anomalous (constraint) diffusion. Approximately 50% of the vancomycin was released within the first 17 h. However, sustained delivery of vancomycin for 100 h was possible by reinjecting the channels. Refillable implants may be a novel way to control postoperative infections.