Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Tissue reactions to implantable pacemaker leads were investigated in an early infection model in rabbits. Both standard leads and surface-modified leads were used. The surface modification technique was applied to achieve controlled release of the antibiotic gentamicin. The insulating polyurethane tubing material of the leads was provided with an acrylic acid/acrylamide copolymer surface graft and then loaded with gentamicin. Implantation periods varied from day 4, to week 3½, to week 10. We investigated tissue reactions in the absence of an infectious challenge and also the efficacy of surface-modified leads in preventing infection after challenge with Staphylococcus aureus was evaluated. It was demonstrated that the applied surface modification did not induce adverse effects although during early postimplantation an increase in infiltration of granulocytes and macrophages and wound fluid and fibrin deposition were observed. After bacterial challenge, standard leads were heavily infected at each explantation period, denoted by abscesses, cellular debris, and bacterial colonies. In contrast, little or no infection was observed, either macroscopically or by bacterial cultures, with the surface-modified leads. Microscopy showed little evidence of the bacterial challenge, and that primarily at day 4. It was concluded that the applied surface modification demonstrated enhanced infection resistance and thus represents a sound approach to the battle against infectious complications with biomaterials. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 41, 142-153, 1998.
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