Comparative efficacy of resorbable fiber wraps loaded with gentamicin sulfate or gallium maltolate in the treatment of osteomyelitis

Taneidra W. Buie, Michael Whitely, Joshua McCune, Ziyang Lan, Anupriya Jose, Annika Balakrishnan, Joseph Wenke, Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The high incidence of osteomyelitis associated with critical-sized bone defects raises clinical challenges in fracture healing. Clinical use of antibiotic-loaded bone cement as an adjunct therapy is limited by incompatibility with many antimicrobials, sub-optimal release kinetics, and requirement of surgical removal. Furthermore, overuse of antibiotics can lead to bacterial modifications that increase efflux, decrease binding, or cause inactivation of the antibiotics. Herein, we compared the efficacy of gallium maltolate, a new metal-based antimicrobial, to gentamicin sulfate released from electrospun poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) wraps in the treatment of osteomyelitis. In vitro evaluation demonstrated sustained release of each antimicrobial up to 14 days. A Kirby Bauer assay indicated that the gentamicin sulfate-loaded wrap inhibited the growth of osteomyelitis-derived isolates, comparable to the gentamicin sulfate powder control. In contrast, the gallium maltolate-loaded wrap did not inhibit bacteria growth. Subsequent microdilution assays indicated a lower than expected sensitivity of the osteomyelitis strain to the gallium maltolate with release concentrations below the threshold for bactericidal activity. A comparison of the selectivity indices indicated that gentamicin sulfate was less toxic and more efficacious than gallium maltolate. A pilot study in a contaminated femoral defect model confirmed that the sustained release of gentamicin sulfate from the electrospun wrap resulted in bacteria density reduction on the surrounding bone, muscle, and hardware below the threshold that impedes healing. Overall, these findings demonstrate the efficacy of a resorbable, antimicrobial wrap that can be used as an adjunct or stand-alone therapy for controlled release of antimicrobials in the treatment of osteomyelitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2255-2268
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • antimicrobial
  • controlled release
  • cytotoxicity
  • electrospinning
  • osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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