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DENDRITE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 32045
Funded under: FP6-SME

Novel implants reduce the risk of infection

Infections following prosthesis implantation are common post-operative complications. A European initiative aimed to address the problem by incorporating a surface coating with polymer-encapsulated antibiotic drugs to be released locally at the site of infection.
Novel implants reduce the risk of infection
Prosthesis implantation of the hip and knee are amongst the most frequent operations in Europe amounting to 1.4 million operations annually. Despite the sterile conditions of the procedure, infections occur after surgery and sometimes result in deep bone infections with detrimental effects for the prosthetic implant and the patient. It would, therefore, be desirable to be able to deliver antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and bone promotional drugs to the potential sites of infection.

With this in mind, the EU-funded project ‘Deposition of encapsulated network of drugs to prevent remedial implant treatment emanating from deep bone infection’ (Dendrite) aimed to develop an innovative coating that has the potential to reduce post-operative infections. The consortium partners thought that this would be best achieved by encapsulating the desired drugs in a polymer shell which decomposed at a certain pace, releasing the desired drug over a set time period. The polymer shells were linked to each other and the implant surface by a series of opposing pole affinity bonds which were biochemically broken down by the immune system. This resulted in the release of the polymer-encapsulated drugs into the surrounding area, allowing both deep bone infection and soft tissue infection to be treated.

Although the Dendrite technology was originally developed for bone implants, the consortium envisaged that it could be further applicable for dental implants and trauma surgery, preventing early infections.

The Dendrite project developed novel implant technology with the ability to prevent and treat post-operative bone infections. Although further pre-clinical and clinical studies would be required for the technology to be commercially released, the product is expected to revolutionise the implant market by reducing the occurrence of implant infections and cutting down the cost of post-operative care.

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