Immobilizing bacitracin on titanium for prophylaxis of infections and for improving osteoinductivity: An in vivo study


Bin’en Nie, Haiyong Ao, Teng Long, Jianliang Zhou, Tingting Tang, Bing Yue


Bacitracin immobilized on the titanium (Ti) surface significantly improves anti-bacterial activity and biocompatibility in vitro. In the current study, we investigated the biologic performance (bactericidal effect and bone-implant integration) of bacitracin-modified Ti in vivo. A rat osteomyelitis model with femoral medullary cavity placement of Ti rods was employed to analyze the prophylactic effect of bacitracin-modified Ti (Ti-BC). Thirty-six female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were used to establish the Ti implant-associated infection. The Ti and Ti-BC rods were incubated with and without Staphylococcus aureus to mimic the contaminated Ti rod and were implanted into the medullary cavity of the left femur, and sterile Ti rods were used as the blank control. After 3 weeks, the bone pathology was evaluated using X-ray and micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) analysis. For the investigation of the Ti-BC implant osseointegration in vivo, fifteen SD rats were divided into three groups (N = 5), namely Ti, Ti-dopamine immobilized (Ti-DOPA), and Ti-BC. Ti rods were implanted into the left femoral cavity and micro-CT and histological evaluation was conducted after 12 weeks. The in vivo study indicated that Ti-immobilized bacitracin owned the prophylaxis potential for the infection associated with the Ti implants and allowed for the osseointegration. Thus, the multiple biofunctionalized Ti implants could be realized via immobilization of bacitracin, making them promising candidates for preventing the Ti implant-associated infections while retaining the osseointegration effects.