News from the centers

19.01.2012

Antibiotica coated tibial nail successful in use

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Produktbild (c) Synthes; Beschichtung (c) Julius Wolff Institut

Synthes in cooperation with researchers from the Julius Wolff Institute and the Center for Muskuloskeletal Surgery.

The PROtect coating for clinical implants that has been co-developed by researchers of the Julius Wolff Institute has been applied successfully in Europe in the last year. The specially coated Expert Tibial Nail PROtect was developed by Synthes in cooperation with researchers from the Julius Wolff Institute and the Center for Muskuloskeletal Surgery of the Charité, especially from the Team of Prof. Dr. Britt Wildemann and Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schmidmaier (now University of Heidelberg). The specially coated implant received the CE label in January last year. According to Synthes, around 200 of these implants have been applied in the last year in Europe, 100 of them in Germany.

The ETN PROtect Nail that stabilizes complex fractures of the lower leg is coated with a thin layer of polymer that contains antibiotics. After application of the nail, the coating releases high doses of antibiotic directly in the bone for the duration of 2 weeks and prevents a bacterial colonization on the implant surface.  Therefore, the risk of a bacterial infection that can affect up to 30 percent of patients with complex fractures will be reduced.

Due to bad blood circulation of the fractured bone and potential side effects of high doses of antibiotics, local infections can hardly be medicated with systemically administered antibiotics. Therefore, biologists and medical experts developed an abrasion resistant and completely resorbable coating for clinical implants that releases antibiotics locally in the inner bone. Radiological, microbiological and histological studies showed a significant reduction of the rate of infections after the application of local antibiotics through an implant coating.

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