Poly(D,L-lactide) coating is capable of enhancing osseous integration of Schanz screws in the absence of infection

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part B, Applied Biomaterials
K PartaleG N Duda


Pin loosening is a major complication in external fixation. Biological and mechanical conditions play an important role in the maintenance and enhancement of the implant-bone interface in fracture fixation. It is thought that biodegradable coatings may be capable of preventing pin track infection and pin loosening. The goal of this study was therefore to analyze the influence of a biodegradeable coating on the osseous integration of Schanz' screws during fracture treatment. Standardized osteotomies (3-mm fracture gap) of the right tibiae were performed on 16 sheep and stabilized by an AO mono-lateral external fixator. Additional, mechanically less loaded Schanz' screws were also mounted. All screws were randomly coated with biodegradable poly(D,L-lactide). The sheep were sacrificed after 9 weeks. All screws were removed and rolled on blood agar plates for microbiological analysis. Histological sections of the pin tracks were histochemically and morphometrically analyzed. Clinically, no signs of severe infection were visible. Microbiological analysis revealed 14.8% colonization by Staphylococcus aureus in the coated and 29% in the uncoated screws. Histomorphometry of the bone surrounding the Schanz' screws revealed that signific...Continue Reading


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