Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2021 Apr 30. doi: 10.1089/sur.2020.288. Online ahead of print.
Background: Infected hernia mesh is a cause of post-operative morbidity. Nitric oxide (NO) plays a key role in the endogenous immune response to infection. We sought to study the efficacy of a NO-releasing mesh against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We hypothesized that a NO-releasing polyester mesh would decrease MRSA colonization and proliferation. Materials and Methods: A composite polyester mesh functionalized with N-diazeniumdiolate silica nanoparticles was synthesized and characterized. N-diazeniumdiolate silica parietex composite (NOSi) was inoculated with 104,106, or 108 colony forming units (CFUs) of MRSA and a dose response was quantified in a soy tryptic broth assay. Utilizing a rat model of contaminated hernia repair, implanted mesh was inoculated with MRSA, recovered, and CFUs were quantified. Clinical metrics of erythema, mesh contracture, and adhesion severity were then characterized. Results: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus CFUs demonstrated a dose-dependent response to NOSi in vitro. In vivo, quantified CFUs showed a dose-dependent response to NOSi-PCO. Treated rats had fewer severe adhesions, less erythema, and reduced mesh contracture. Conclusions: We demonstrate the efficacy of a NO-releasing mesh to treat MRSA in vitro and in vivo. Creation of a novel class of antimicrobial prosthetics offers new strategies for reconstructing contaminated abdominal wall defects and other procedures that benefit from deploying synthetic prostheses in contaminated environments.