Calcium orthophosphate-based bone cements (CPCs): Applications, antibiotic release and alternatives to antibiotics
Calcium orthophosphate bone cements (CPCs) are widely used in orthopedic surgery. Implants are highly susceptible to infection and often lead to the formation of microbial biofilms. Antibiotics are often incorporated into bone cement to prevent infection. The increase in the number of microorganisms acquiring or developing resistance to antibiotics, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), is a major concern. Bacteriocins (antimicrobial peptides) offer an alternative to antibiotics. Their mode of activity involves permanent destabilization of the plasma membrane of target cells. A number of broad-spectrum bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria and Bacillus spp. have recently been reported. In this review the major characteristics of calcium phosphate bone cements, prosthetic joint-associated infections, and treatment of these infections is discussed. The role of antimicrobial agents in CPCs is discussed and the possibility of incorporating bacteriocins in prosthetic devices is investigated. © 2012 Società Italiana Biomateriali.