Development of 3D-printed vaginal devices containing metronidazole for alternative bacterial vaginosis treatment
Exciting news in the field of women’s health! A new study proposes an innovative solution to the limitations of current treatment for bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is caused by a change in the vaginal microbiota and one of the most common bacteria, Gardnerella vaginalis, is often the culprit. The standard treatment involves antibiotics such as metronidazole (MTZ), but multiple applications are required.
To overcome this, researchers have proposed the use of intravaginal devices made of biodegradable and biocompatible polymers for prolonged delivery of MTZ. These devices were made using semi-solid extrusion 3D printing, with varying compositions of high and low molecular weight poly(caprolactone) (PCL) to evaluate the effect on drug release. The devices were printed into two shapes (meshes and discs) with mucoadhesive properties from PCL and a copolymer of methyl vinyl ether and maleic anhydride (Gantrez™-AN119).
The results were impressive! Disc formulations were able to sustain the release of MTZ for up to 9 days and showed clear antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of Gardnerella vaginalis with a zone of inhibition of 19.0 ± 1.3 mm. The shape of the devices did influence the release of MTZ, with the larger surface area of the meshes providing a faster release.
This innovative approach offers a valuable alternative to the current treatment options, as it provides sustained release of MTZ and reduces the frequency of administration, improving patient compliance.
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