Intra-operatively Fitted Antibiotic Spacer Construct for Periprosthetic Joint Infection (PJI) Treatment


­Researchers at UTHealth have created a novel antibiotic spacer to address the known limitations of contemporary antibiotic spacers for PJI treatment while concurrently preserving the functionality of existing devices. The newly designed intra-operatively shapeable antibiotic spacer construct is incorporated with additional capabilities to treat bone defects while preserving host bone and has the potential to significantly impact the manner in which surgeons treat PJI.

Technology Overview

PJI is an uncommon but one of the most devastating complications following total joint replacement that can result in significant bone loss and disability. Not only is the mortality (24% at 4.5-year follow-up) significant, but following these intrusive procedures, patients continue to live with diminished function due to loss of tissue and bone and have a significant risk of infection recurrence.

Two-stage exchange arthroplasty is the gold standard in the treatment of PJI of the knee and hip. This method utilizes an antibiotic spacer as the intermediate stage to locally treat the infection with antibiotic-loaded polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) bone cement and subsequent IV antibiotics for a period of about 6 weeks.

Dr. Kenneth Mathis’ team have developed an intraoperative shapeable antibiotic delivery system consisting of a defect filling total joint prosthesis designed to allow articulation with metal and polyethylene surfaces while delivering antibiotics locally to infected tissues. This invention is unique in that its modular, shapeable features located below the articular surface give the surgeon options for filling underlying bone defects, and shows several advantages:

    • Designed to customize the external shape of each device according to the geometry of the defect presented intraoperatively
    • Provides a means for the surgeon to check the fit prior to cementing The defect filling features stabilize the implant and maintain its position during cement curing whereas many other designs have a risk of subsiding if the joint is inadvertently manipulated prior to hardening of the cement
    • The bone itself can be shaped to match the out of the box manufactured implant geometry with existing revision instrumentation

Intellectual Property Status

Stage of Development

  • Clinical study in progress

About the Lead Creator/Inventor

Kenneth B. Mathis, M.D.

Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at McGovern Medical School of UTHealth;

Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Mathis specializes in Total Joint Reconstruction. Dr. Mathis is a member of several professional organizations including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Texas Orthopedic Association, and the Houston Orthopedic Society.

UTHealth Ref. No.: 2022-0006

Patent Information:

The preceding is intended to be a non-confidential and limited description of a novel technology created at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). This promotional material is not comprehensive in scope and should not replace company’s diligence in a thorough evaluation of the technology. Please contact the Office of Technology Management for more information regarding this technology.
Medical Devices
For Information, Contact:
Xiaoyan Wang
Technology Commercialization Analyst
University of Texas Health Science Center At Houston
Kenneth Mathis
Hugh Jones
Ethan Sij
© 2024. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum