It has been well established that the prevalence of
periodontal disease remains high at global level. The number of cases are
increasing despite increased awareness of the importance of oral health. Though
there are numerous treatment modalities available but each one of them comes
with its own drawbacks. Recently, a team of researchers sought to change this. They
developed flexible, biodegradable rods that can accurately deliver antibiotics
to the diseased portions of the periodontium.
The researchers, from Martin Luther University
Halle-Wittenberg, aimed to develop a drug delivery system that would provide
improved local antimicrobial treatment of periodontal disease through improved
drug stability, easier application and controlled release of the drug or drugs
in question. Antibiotics are often administered in pill form, which can affect
the whole body and lead to side effects such as nausea, abdominal pain and
diarrhoea, as well as contribute to increased antibiotic resistance.
To counter this, the research group utilised
pharmaceutical-grade polymers to produce small biodegradable rods that could
slowly release a mixture of the antibiotic minocycline and magnesium stearate,
a proven pharmaceutical excipient. The rods can be inserted directly into the
gingival pocket of the periodontally compromised patient, and since the body
can break them down, they do not have to be removed.
“The rods are much more effective in vitro than
previous products on the market,” said Martin Kirchberg, co-author of the study
and a research assistant at Martin Luther University’s Institute of Pharmacy.
Kirchberg explained to Dental Tribune International that clinical testing of
the rod is likely to occur quite soon, since the pharmaceutical ingredients are
already commercially available.
“Currently we are in the planning phase of a clinical
study,” said Kirchberg. “The extrudates are supposed to be produced in a
hospital pharmacy under GMP [good manufacturing practice] conditions.
Subsequently, these extrudates shall be made available to patients under the
supervision of seasoned periodontists.”
– published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.