Sustainable release of vancomycin from micro-arc oxidised 3D-printed porous Ti6Al4V for treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bone infection and enhancing osteogenesis in a rabbit tibia osteomyelitis model
Elimination of infection and enhancement of osteogenesis by orthopaedic implants are two critical factors in the treatment of complex bone infections. A prolonged and expensive procedure requiring two surgical steps and a 6–8-week period of joint immobilisation is utilised as a primary treatment for revision arthroplasty of an infected prosthesis, greatly affecting long-term patient care for the ageing population. Here, we evaluated the effects of vancomycin-loaded in micro-arc oxidised (MAO) three-dimensional (3D) printed porous Ti6Al4V scaffolds on osteogenesis. This system showed a high loading capacity and sustained vancomycin release kinetics, as demonstrated using high-performance liquid chromatography. In vivo, 0.1 mL of 108 colony forming units (CFU) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was injected into the tibias of rabbits to induce severe osteomyelitis. Physical, haematological, radiographic, microbiological, and histopathological analyses were performed to evaluate the effects of treatment. Rabbits with vancomycin-loaded in MAO scaffolds showed the inhibition of bone infection and enhancement of osteogenesis, resulting in better outcomes than in the other groups. Overall, these findings demonstrated the potential of this 3D printed porous Ti6Al4V, with good osteogenesis and sustained vancomycin release properties, for application in the treatment of complex bone infections.