Scientists at Rice University have recently started a new project to develop temporary implants for facial reconstruction.
Latest reports say that the researchers are incorporating a unique way to deliver time-released antibiotics to ward off infection while a patient heals.
Antonios Mikos , the Rice laboratory of bioengineer, is working on the development of materials that help repair severe craniofacial injuries from trauma or pathological defects like tumor removal. The lab's specialized plastic space maintainers can keep a pocket for new bone open while the overlying soft tissue heals. In later surgery, the implant is detached to make way for reconstruction of the bone.
‘Rice University project developing temporary implants for facial reconstruction has incorporated a unique way to deliver time-released antibiotics to ward off infection while a patient heals.’
In the latest advance, porous polymethylmethacrylate implants are filled with a gel that leaches its protective antibiotic contents to surrounding tissue, which guards the tissue from infection for several weeks.
"Infection is an important problem that needs to be considered with medical devices because bacteria can prevent the body from being able to heal," Mikos said. "If the infection gets too severe, it can even cause tissues that were previously healthy to die."
Infections from the external environment and from neighboring structures such as the nasal passages, the sinuses and the mouth can attack vulnerable tissue, said Paschalia (Lina) Mountziaris, who leads the research team. Several researches have showed that wound infections from gunshot injuries to the face are common, they noted.