Point-of-care antimicrobial coating protects orthopaedic implants from bacterial challenge

Weixian Xi, Vishal Hegde, Stephen D. Zoller, Howard Y. Park, Christopher M. Hart, Takeru Kondo, Christopher D. Hamad, Yan Hu, Amanda H. Loftin, Daniel O. Johansen, Zachary Burke, Samuel Clarkson, Chad Ishmael, Kellyn Hori, Zeinab Mamouei, Hiroko Okawa, Ichiro Nishimura, Nicholas M. Bernthal, Tatiana Segura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Implant related infections are the most common cause of joint arthroplasty failure, requiring revision surgeries and a new implant, resulting in a cost of $8.6 billion annually. To address this problem, we created a class of coating technology that is applied in the operating room, in a procedure that takes less than 10 min, and can incorporate any desired antibiotic. Our coating technology uses an in situ coupling reaction of branched poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(allyl mercaptan) (PEG-PAM) polymers to generate an amphiphilic polymeric coating. We show in vivo efficacy in preventing implant infection in both post-arthroplasty infection and post-spinal surgery infection mouse models. Our technology displays efficacy with or without systemic antibiotics, the standard of care. Our coating technology is applied in a clinically relevant time frame, does not require modification of implant manufacturing process, and does not change the implant shelf life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5473
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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