Chitosan and hydroxyapatite based biomaterials to circumvent periprosthetic joint infections

Ana Rita Costa-Pinto*, Ana Luísa Lemos, Freni Kekhasharú Tavaria, Manuela Pintado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Every year, worldwide, millions of people suffering from joint pain undergo joint replace-ment. For most patients, joint arthroplasty reduces pain and improve function, though a small fraction will experience implant failure. One of the main reasons includes prosthetic joint infection (PJI), involving the prosthesis and adjacent tissues. Few microorganisms (MO) are required to inocu-late the implant, resulting in the formation of a biofilm on its surface. Standard treatment includes not only removal of the infected prosthesis but also the elimination of necrotic bone fragments, local and/or systemic administration of antibiotics, and revision arthroplasty with a new prosthesis, immediately after the infection is cleared. Therefore, an alternative to the conventional therapeutics would be the incorporation of natural antimicrobial compounds into the prosthesis. Chitosan (Ch) is a potential valuable biomaterial presenting properties such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, low immunogenicity, wound healing ability, antimicrobial activity, and anti-inflammatory potential. Regarding its antimicrobial activity, Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, as well as fungi are highly susceptible to chitosan. Calcium phosphate (CaP)-based materials are commonly utilized in orthopedic and dentistry for their excellent biocompatibility and bioactivity, particularly in the establishment of cohesive bone bonding that yields effective and rapid osteointegration. At present, the majority of CaP-based materials are synthetic, which conducts to the depletion of the natural resources of phosphorous in the future due to the extensive use of phosphate. CaP in the form of hydroxyapatite (HAp) may be extracted from natural sources as fish bones or scales, which are by-products of the fish food industry. Thus, this review aims to enlighten the fundamental characteristics of Ch and HAp biomaterials which makes them attractive to PJI prevention and bone regeneration, summarizing relevant studies with these biomaterials to the field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number804
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2021


  • Antimicrobial
  • Biomaterials
  • Chitosan
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Oste-oregeneration
  • Periprosthetic joint infection


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