Artificial joints often develop bacterial infections after implantation. Antibiotic-enriched bone cement is applied to the infected joint and then re-inserted after several weeks. Bone cement, however, is limited in its ability to kill infections.
Fighting Bacterial Infections In Implants
Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital used vancomycin, a polyethylene polymer antibiotic. This antibiotic lasts longer than bone cement and allows for infusion of higher antibiotic concentrations.
All animals with joint induced infection treated with vancomycin displayed full recovery, whereas the control group treated with bone cement showed residual infections.