Thesis Defense Announcement

The Herff College of Engineering announces the final Thesis of

Christopher Alexander

for the Degree of Master of Science
on February 1, 2018 at 1:00 PM in Engineering Technology 201

Advisor: J. Amber Jennings

Development and Functional Evaluation of Chitosan Paste as a Local Antibiotic Delivery Biomaterial

ABSTRACT: Complex musculoskeletal wounds resultant of high-energy trauma are a leading cause of morbidity worldwide due, in part, to a propensity of bacterial contamination within the wound. A biocompatible, biodegradable natural polymer capable of point-of-care antibiotic loading and subsequent localized release in vivo is an approach to infection prevention in trauma care, adjunct treatment to the standard prophylaxis method of intravenous antibiotic administration. The current report details the fabrication of a thermo-responsive, injectable chitosan-composite paste, followed by the investigation into the functional and clinical efficacy as an infection prevention tool applied within the scope of complex musculoskeletal wounds. Findings from in vitro studies conclude the chitosan paste is cytocompatible in the presence of fibroblast-like cells, and capable of dual antibiotic loading and a therapeutic release profile for at least 3 days, as well as enzymatic degradation. The Thermogel requires an ejection force significantly lower than comparable paste formulations, a testament to the benefits of the additive β-glycerophosphate which creates a polyelectrolyte complex with the chitosan molecular backbone. Preclinical investigations into the functional compatibility and antimicrobial efficacy of the paste find the paste to be both compatible and capable of treating an infected orthopaedic defect for up to 7 days in in vivo models.