Comparative Raman study on the molecular structure and IN VIVO wear of poly(methyl methacrylate)-based devices used as temporary knee prostheses: Effect of the antibiotic

Paola Taddei, Saverio Affatato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The infection rate of total knee arthroplasty is still high, in spite of the high success of this surgical procedure. The use of an antibiotic-loaded temporary spacer made of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) has been proposed to treat infected knee arthroplasties. This study was aimed at comparatively investigating, on a molecular scale, two types of spacers from the same manufacturer (Spacer K and Vancogenx-space knee, Tecres, Italy), which differ for the added antibiotic (gentamicin sulphate in Spacer K and gentamicin sulphate + vancomycin hydrochloride in Vancogenx). Raman spectroscopy was used to gain more insights into the possible effects of the antibiotic on the spacer composition and polymer structure both in the new components and after in vivo use. Vancogenx was found to contain a lower residual MMA content than Spacer K (about 0.15% versus 0.4%). The former contained a higher amount of isotactic stereosequences than the latter, while the syndiotactic content (the prevailing component) was not significantly different in the two prostheses. The presence of vancomycin hydrochloride influenced not only the degree of polymerization and PMMA tacticity and crystallinity, but in turn also the wear behavior. Actually, Spacer K retrievals were found more affected by in vivo implantation than Vancogenx-space knee ones, revealing slight variations in polymer tacticity and crystallinity and relative radiopacifier content, besides release of MMA and additives of polymerization. However, these changes did not appear worrisome, due to the temporary nature of the prosthesis. In view of these results, the addition of vancomycin hydrochloride could offer an advantage, in spite of the higher costs requested and the potential risks of its unselective use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Volume116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • PMMA
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • TKA
  • Temporary knee spacer
  • Two-stage re-implantation

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