A hydrogel able to prevent bone infections after surgery reduces the need for drugs while also aiding in healing.
Bone infections are a common problem after surgery or disease, and typically require large doses of medication as well as surgery to treat. To offer a less invasive alternative, the team from Georgia Tech created a hydrogel material containing the lysostaphin antimicrobial enzyme and the bone-regenerating protein BMP-2. The hydrogel helps ensure the lysostaphin remains active for at least two weeks, and the gel can be injected at the site of the infection—where it slowly breaks down as it helps the bone heal.
Image Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech - Researcher Christopher Johnson prepares hydrogel samples containing both an enzyme that battles bacterial infections and a protein that encourages bone growth.