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01.01.2012 | Orthopaedic Surgery | Ausgabe 1/2012

Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 1/2012

Octenidine in combination with polymethylmethacrylate: a new option for preventing infection?

Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2012
Sebastian Weckbach, Angelika Möricke, Horst Braunwarth, Peter Goroncy-Bermes, Mark Bischoff, Florian Gebhard



Orthopedic implant infections represent a serious complication for both patient and surgeon. In order to minimize this risk, it has become standard practice in surgery and orthopedics to add antimicrobial substances to the polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) bone cement. The aim of this study is to find new options for preventing infection by using alternative adjuvants in combination with PMMA. We hypothesized, that Octenidine, after being combined with PMMA, can be released in vitro and an antimicrobial efficacy of discharged Octenidine can be shown.


The release of Octenidine from PMMA was assessed in high pressure liquid chromatography of the supernatant. In order to assess the efficacy of Octenidine on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro, a nutrient solution for these bacteria was incubated with a defined number of these bacteria (106 colony forming units) and cement pellets containing the antiseptic Octenidine for 24 h. After the incubation the number of bacteria in the solution was determined by counting the colony forming units on blood agar plates.


Octenidine was shown to be released in a concentration-dependent manner from PMMA in the elution experiment. The experimental procedure using S. aureus demonstrated a bactericidal effect for bone cement containing Octenidine. For P. aeruginosa, bone cement containing 5–8% Octenidine was associated with tenfold reduction in bacterial count.


These results suggest that Octenidine is released after combining it with PMMA and reaches working concentrations in vitro. These findings suggest a new and effective alternative for prevention of infection in cemented implants. Further investigations on the biocompatibility of this combination is needed.

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