Characteristics and clinical assessment of antibiotic delivery by chitosan sponge in the high-risk diabetic foot: A case series

N. Patel, D. Hatch, C. M. Wells, D. Ahn, M. Harris, J. A. Jennings, W. Haggard, D. G. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: The local delivery of antimicrobials is attractive for a number of reasons. Chitosan, a biodegradable polysaccharide sponge material, has been proposed as medium to deliver antibiotics directly to wounds. In this report we evaluate the safety and practicality of antimicrobial delivery via chitosan sponge. Method: We present the clinical course and systemic absorption characteristics of three cases of people with diabetic foot wounds treated with antibiotic soaked chitosan sponge (Sentrex BioSponge, Bionova Medical, Germantown, TN). The antibiotic sponge was made by reconstituting 1.2g tobramycin or 100mg doxycycline in 10-15ml saline and saturating the sponge with the solution. The sponge was then applied to the wounds. Serum levels of each respective antibiotic were evaluated after application. Additional in vitro studies were conducted evaluating elution of antibiotics from the chitosan sponge at established minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) for Staphylococcus aureus over 28 days. Results: No patient experienced adverse local or systemic effects due to the sponge treatment. The measured serum levels applied antibiotics remained far less than established minimums after intravenous therapy. Each patient required further treatment, however local infection or contamination resolved during the course of their hospital stay after the chitosan/antibiotic application. Conclusion: The use of antibiotic-impregnated chitosan sponges appears a safe and effective mechanism of local delivery of antimicrobials in wounds. Future studies and clinical trials are ongoing to confirm these results and to guide clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S32-S38
JournalJournal of Wound Care
StatePublished - Apr 2017


  • Antibacterial agents
  • Chitosan
  • Diabetic foot
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Wound healing
  • Wound infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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