Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Mar 8;10(3):270. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10030270.
Antibiotic-tolerant bacterial biofilms are notorious in causing PJI. Antibiotic loaded calcium sulfate bead (CSB) bone void fillers and PMMA cement and powdered vancomycin (VP) have been used to achieve high local antibiotic concentrations; however, the effect of drainage on concentration is poorly understood. We designed an in vitro flow reactor which provides post-surgical drainage rates after knee revision surgery to determine antibiotic concentration profiles. Tobramycin and vancomycin concentrations were determined using LCMS, zones of inhibition confirmed potency and the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) at various time points was used to compare applications. Concentrations of antibiotcs from the PMMA and CSB initially increased then decreased before increasing after 2 to 3 h, correlating with decreased drainage, demonstrating that concentration was controlled by both release and flow rates. VP achieved the greatest AUC after 2 h, but rapidly dropped below inhibitory levels. CSB combined with PMMA achieved the greatest AUC after 2 h. The combination of PMMA and CSB may present an effective combination for killing biofilm bacteria; however, cytotoxicity and appropriate antibiotic stewardship should be considered. The model may be useful in comparing antibiotic concentration profiles when varying fluid exchange is important. However, further studies are required to assess its utility for predicting clinical efficacy.