Because bacterial colonization of medical devices may result in clinical infection, it is conceivable that antimicrobial impregnation of tissue expanders may reduce the rate of infection. The objective of this in vitro study was to examine the spectrum, durability, and shelf-life antimicrobial activity of minocycline/ rifampin-impregnated silicone tissue expander shells. The impregnated devices exhibited zones of inhibition at baseline against Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli. The impregnated devices exhibited strong residual activity against S. epidermidis and S. aureus after suspension in serum at 37°C for 4 weeks. There was no significant decrease in the size of zones of inhibition after storing the impregnated devices at room temperature for 1 year. These results indicate that minocycline/rifampin-impregnated tissue expander shells provide broad-spectrum and durable antimicrobial activity and that the shelf-life antimicrobial activity exceeds 1 year. These findings prompt future exploration of the anti-infective efficacy of these antimicrobial-impregnated devices.
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