In his article "Eight hot device technologies that will shape medical plastics," Doug Smock cites implants and stents made from "disappearing plastics." Researchers in Taiwan have taken this concept a step further and developed a bioresorbable suturing material that can deliver continuous-dose antibiotics to patients suffering from post-surgical brain infections. Adele Graham-King, a product development specialist working in the healthcare sector, blogged about the technology recently on medicalpackaginginnovation.com.
Researchers from Chang Gung University developed a resorbable membrane made of polylactic co-glycol acid (PLGA) nanofibers that are loaded with vancomycin to treat gram-positive bacterial infections. In vivo animal studies showed positive results, as described in a paper published in Neuroscience on July 1, 2013. In the human population, this technology could replace the treatment of brain infections by means of IV-delivered antibiotics and lengthy hospital stays. The material's resorption properties are an added boon.
"Previous research has demonstrated the effective delivery of antibiotics directly to the brain using plastic materials," writes Graham-King. "However, follow-up surgery has been required to remove the plastic when treatment has been completed."
Biodegradable and biocompatible, PLGA is used in a range of medical products including grafts, sutures, implants, and prosthetic devices.
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