Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Warren O Haggard

Committee Member

Gary L Bowlin

Committee Member

Joel D Bumgardner

Committee Member

Harry S Courtney


Musculoskeletal infections often result in multiple surgeries and increased cost for the patient, and can be especially difficult to treat if infectious bacteria are biofilm-forming or antibiotic-resistant. This research evaluated a series of paste formulations, based on chitosan and polyethylene glycol (PEG) modified chitosan products combined in 70:30 to 30:70 ratios, to locally deliver antibiotics for early abatement of infection as a potential adjunctive therapy. Paste formulations were evaluated for injectability, adhesive properties, and in vitro degradability, cytocompatibility, and antibiotic release and activity as compared to a neutral chitosan sponge control. The paste formulations were also compared to the control sponge for ability to prevent infection in a murine catheter model. Blending PEG into the chitosan paste formulation allowed the 50:50 and 40:60 pastes to remain injectable through a syringe and adhesive to tissue while increasing in vitro biocompatibility. Compared to the sponge control, in vitro degradation of the paste was increased and antibiotic release was extended, resulting in extended active antimicrobial activity. The 50:50 and 40:60 chitosan/PEG pastes also diplayed improved in vivo bacterial contamination prevention over the unmodified paste and sponges by clearing all bacteria from catheters implanted in an infected mouse model. These experimental results support the potential for the 50:50 and 40:60 pastes for use as a local adjunctive antibiotic delivery system for musculoskeletal infections.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.