Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Jessica Amber Jennings

Committee Member

Warren Haggard

Committee Member

Joel Bumgardner

Committee Member

Gary Bowlin


Complex musculoskeletal wounds, resultant of high-energy trauma, are a leading cause of morbidity worldwide due, in part, to a propensity for bacterial contamination. This work details the fabrication of a thermo-responsive, injectable chitosan composite paste by including the additive β-glycerophosphate, which creates a polyelectrolyte complex with the chitosan molecular backbone. Functional and clinical efficacy as an infection prevention tool were determined within the scope of complex musculoskeletal wounds. Findings from in vitro studies support the capability of chitosan paste to be loaded with dual antibiotics for release of inhibitory levels of both amikacin and vancomycin for at least 3 days. Further, rates of enzymatic degradation of approximately 60% of the initial mass were observed within 7 days. The cytocompatibility of the thermogel requires enhancement; eliciting the lowest cell count among all experimental groups, approximately 77% of the Control Chitosan Sponge group. The thermogel ejection force, approximately 20N, is significantly lower than comparable, previously studied chitosan paste formulations. A preclinical, compatibility study of thermogel exposed to both hard and soft tissues demonstrated the paste to be capable of implantation for up to 7 days, inducing inflammatory responses similar to previously studied chitosan pastes. No significant differences was found in the rate of clearance in a murine, polymicrobial defect, though average CFUs retrieved from explants were lower compared to control groups. Results indicate the thermogel is a compatible, degradable biomaterial capable of therapeutic, local antibiotic release for up to 7 days.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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