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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name



Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Weiping Ren


Treatment of osteomyelitis remains a significant clinical challenge, with over 75% of cases caused by commensal Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Calcium phosphate cements (CPC) − in particular, dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD) cements − have been proposed as an alternative to polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) cements as antibiotic delivery vehicles for the treatment of contaminated bone defects due to their excellent osteoconductivity, similar mineral composition to that of native bone tissue, and resorbability under physiological conditions. Unfortunately, there is still no suitable solution to the problems of poor handling properties, low anti-washout resistance, weak mechanical properties and burst drug release.

Polymeric DCPD (P-DCPD) is a new, injectable CPC obtained by the setting of calcium polyphosphate (CPP) gel with tetracalcium phosphate (TTCP). P-DCPD represents a promising bone cement alternative due to its strong mechanical properties, excellent anti-washout resistance and controllable and sustained release of embedded drugs.

The purpose of this study is to assess the physicochemical properties of P-DCPD cement loaded with erythromycin, vancomycin or tobramycin, as well as evaluate its bactericidal efficacy against S. aureus and cytocompatibility with MC3T3 murine pre-osteoblasts at a 10% w/w drug-loading concentration. The hypothesis is that the addition of antibiotics to P-DCPD cement matrix will not significantly compromise the mechanical and handling properties of the cement while inhibiting bacterial growth without exerting a drastic cytotoxic effect on pre-osteoblastic cells.

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