OBJECTIVES: To determine the elution properties of meropenem and to compare the elutions of meropenem-impregnated polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) beads without sterilization (P-M-C) to those sterilized with steam (P-M-A) and ethylene oxide gas (P-M-EO).
METHODS: A commercial bead mould was used to produce four groups of beads: one group without antibiotic (negative control), and three groups of meropenem-impregnated beads: P-M-C, P-M-A, and P-M-EO. The beads were placed in a phosphate buffered solution and eluent samples were collected. Concentrations of the antibiotic in eluent samples from the two sterilized groups and the control beads were determined using a microbiological assay at 1, 3, 6 and 12 hours and at 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 22, 26, and 30 days.
RESULTS: The microbiological assay resulted in no zone of inhibition at all time periods for the P-M-A samples and the samples of PMMA without antimicrobial. The meropenem concentration on the eluent remained above 4 mcg/ml for 15 days in the P-M-C group and until day 18 for P-M-EO group. There was no statistical difference in AUC0-∞ (p
DISCUSSION: The meropenem incorporated in the PMMA beads eluted effectively and gradually decreased after the 24 hour peak, but remained above the concentration level of 4 mcg/ml for 15 days in the P-M-C group and until day 18 for P-M-EO group. Ethylene oxide does not adversely affect meropenem's elution from PMMA beads.
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