Abstract by Ryan Moore
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Ceragenins: A New Option in Orthopedic Surgery
While all surgery carries a risk of infection, orthopedic surgery can be particularly dangerous. It not only requires incisions, but also the drilling or cutting into bone tissue, and the insertion of surgical screws, pins, and plates. These foreign materials provide ideal sites for microbial colonization, significantly increasing the risk of osteomyelitis, a potentially deadly infection of bone tissue that frequently requires additional surgery. Given these risks, prevention is key. Fortunately, a new class of antimicrobial compounds called ceragenins possess broad spectrum activity against the pathogens responsible for these infections. The results of our in vivo and in vitro studies show that a coating of ceragenins can considerably reduce the risk of microbial colonization of surgical screws inserted during orthopedic procedures.