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2021 Frank Stinchfield Award: A novel cemented hip hemiarthroplasty infection model with real-time in vivo imaging in rats

an animal study

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The aims of this study were to develop an in vivo model of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) in cemented hip hemiarthroplasty, and to monitor infection and biofilm formation in real-time.


Sprague-Dawley rats underwent cemented hip hemiarthroplasty via the posterior approach with pre- and postoperative gait assessments. Infection with Staphylococcus aureus Xen36 was monitored with in vivo photoluminescent imaging in real-time. Pre- and postoperative gait analyses were performed and compared. Postmortem micro (m) CT was used to assess implant integration; field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) was used to assess biofilm formation on prosthetic surfaces.


All animals tolerated surgery well, with preservation of gait mechanics and weightbearing in control individuals. Postoperative in vivo imaging demonstrated predictable evolution of infection with logarithmic signal decay coinciding with abscess formation. Postmortem mCT qualitative volumetric analysis showed high contact area and both cement-bone and cement-implant interdigitation. FE-SEM revealed biofilm formation on the prosthetic head.


This study demonstrates the utility of a new, high-fidelity model of in vivo PJI using cemented hip hemiarthroplasty in rats. Inoculation with bioluminescent bacteria allows for non-invasive, real-time monitoring of infection.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(7 Supple B):9–16.

Correspondence should be sent to William J. Hadden. E-mail:

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