Antimicrobial activity of bone cements embedded with organic nanoparticles

Stefano Perni, Victorien Thenault, Pauline Abdo, Katrin Margulis, Shlomo Magdassi, Polina Prokopovich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Infections after orthopedic surgery are a very unwelcome outcome; despite the widespread use of antibiotics, their incidence can be as high as 10%. This risk is likely to increase as antibiotics are gradually losing efficacy as a result of bacterial resistance; therefore, novel antimicrobial approaches are required. Parabens are a class of compounds whose antimicrobial activity is employed in many cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. We developed propylparaben nanoparticles that are hydrophilic, thus expanding the applicability of parabens to aqueous systems. In this paper we assess the possibility of employing paraben nanoparticles as antimicrobial compound in bone cements. The nanoparticles were embedded in various types of bone cement (poly(methyl methacrylate) [PMMA], hydroxyapatite, and brushite) and the antimicrobial activity was determined against common causes of postorthopedic surgery infections such as: Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Acinetobacter baumannii. Nanoparticles at concentrations as low as 1% w/w in brushite bone cement were capable of preventing pathogens growth, 5% w/w was needed for hydroxyapatite bone cement, while 7% w/w was required for PMMA bone cement. No detrimental effect was determined by the addition of paraben nanoparticles on bone cement compression strength and cytocompatibility. Our results demonstrate that paraben nanoparticles can be encapsulated in bone cement, providing concentration-dependent antimicrobial activity; furthermore, lower concentrations are needed in calcium phosphate (brushite and hydroxyapatite) than in acrylic (PMMA) bone cements. These nanoparticles are effective against a wide spectrum of bacteria, including those already resistant to the antibiotics routinely employed in orthopedic applications, such as gentamicin.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
StatePublished - 7 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Perni et al.


  • Antimicrobial
  • Bone cement
  • Brushite
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • PMMA
  • Paraben


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