Antibiotic Gel in Ear May Treat Ear Infections


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

A preclinical study led by Harvard Medical School researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital showed that a single-application, bioengineered gel squirted in the ear canal could deliver a full course of antibiotic therapy for middle-ear infections, making treatment much easier and potentially safer, according to a study published Sept. 14, 2016, in Science Translational Medicine.

Middle-ear infections, or otitis media, affect 95 percent of children, prompting 12 million to 16 million clinical visits per year in the U.S. alone. It’s the No. 1 reason for pediatric antibiotic prescriptions. But getting oral antibiotics into young children several times a day for 7-10 days can be a daunting task.

This drug delivery system completely eradicated otitis media from non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) in 10 of 10 lab chinchillas, whereas only 62.5 percent of animals receiving 1 percent ciprofloxacin alone had cleared the infection by the seventh day. The hydrogel system was biocompatible in the ear, and ciprofloxacin was undetectable in the blood, confirming local drug delivery and activity. This fast-gelling hydrogel could improve compliance, minimize side effects and prevent systemic distribution of antibiotics in one of the most common pediatric illnesses, possibly minimizing the development of antibiotic resistance.

For more information, go to

Katherine Kopp is a freelance writer and editor in Chapel Hill.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

A Tale of Two Stone Mountains

Despite sharing a name, both Stone Mountains offer unique delights for families to enjoy.

8 Family-Friendly Hikes in NC

From the mountains to the sea, these trails are perfect for the entire family.

Make Painted Rock Plant Markers for Your Garden

Kids love to paint rocks, and the activity will also give them some ownership of the family garden plot.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Triad by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!


Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

GPS [Go. Play. See]

It's your complete family guide to Triad living. Parents are busy and on the go. Use this guide to help you explore all this great area offers for families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and surrounding communities.

Exceptional Child

For parents of kids with special needs, finding help and support can be challenging. We've compiled valuable resources for Triad parents in our latest annual publication, Exceptional Child, which is also available as a digital guide.