Prophylactic Bactericidal Orthopedic Implants – Animal Testing Study


This paper summarizes preliminary rat studies aimed at identifying the effectiveness of using electrically stimulated silver as a bactericidal agent for indwelling residual hardware devices (RHD). A variety of bactericidal indwelling devices were designed, fabricated and surgically inserted into the medullary cavity of live rats. The rats were inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus to try and induce osteomyelitis. A total of 37 surgeries were performed by implanting the rats with both control and potentially bactericidal devices. As surgical procedures and devices were improved, it appeared that the implants produced antibiotic effects in the animals. All of the control animals and all of the animals where the device failed tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus growth. Of the rats with operational bactericidal devices (those that survived the surgery and incubation period), half tested negative for Staphylococcus aureus. The device designs are discussed in this paper along with the test procedures, operating practices and results. A statistical analysis of the results, which shows a very high confidence level in the effectiveness of electrically stimulated silver as a bactericidal agent/antibiotic, is also presented.

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Wysk, R. , Sebastianelli, W. , Shirwaiker, R. , Bailey, G. , Charumani, C. , Kennett, M. , Kaucher, A. , Abrahams, R. , Fuller, T. , Royer, P. , Voigt, R. and Cohen, P. (2010) Prophylactic Bactericidal Orthopedic Implants – Animal Testing Study. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 3, 917-926. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2010.39122.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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