• E. coli;
  • S. aureus;
  • Articular cartilage;
  • Proteoglycans;
  • Wound antiseptic


After removing an inoculum of 108 –109 cfu of Escherichia coli (E. coli) or Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) effectively within 2 h from bovine sesamoid bones (bsb) using the iodophore Betaisodona® [0.5 and 1.0% (v/v) PVP-I], the biguanide polihexanide (PHMB) [0.005 and 0.01% (v/v)], and the bispyridinamine Octenidine (Oct) [0.005 and 0.01% (v/v)] the metabolic effect on proteoglycans (PG) in bsb was investigated by subsequent culture of bsb for 7 d and biosynthetically labeling with 35 S-sulfate for a period of 24 h.

The treatment with the iodophore stimulates the incorporation of 35 S-sulfate into PG, whereas that of Oct was toxic. The PHMB treatment was both tolerated and effective only when it was used at low concentrations (0.005%). The antiseptic treatment did not result in an increase of catabolism of PG.

This in vitro study clearly demonstrates that irrigation of cartilage with an antiseptic should be limited to an effective concentration and treatment time compatible with antiseptic function. Iodophores have no negative feedback on cartilage metabolism, moreover, they stimulate chondrocytes in vitro. Cationic antiseptics are not suited as irrigating solutions. © 2004 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.