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Ear infections are a commonly-occurring problem that can affect people of all ages. Treatment of these pathologies usually includes the administration of topical or systemic antibiotics, depending on the location of the infection. In this context, we sought to address the feasibility of a single-application slow-releasing therapeutic formulation of an antibiotic for the treatment of otitis externa. Thixotropic hydrogels, which are gels under static conditions but liquefy when shaken, were tested for their ability to act as drug controlled release systems and inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, the predominant bacterial strains associated with outer ear infections. Our overall proof of concept, including in vitro evaluations reflective of therapeutic ease of administration, formulation stability, cytocompatibility assessment, antibacterial efficacy, and formulation lifespan, indicate that these thixotropic materials have strong potential for development as otic treatment products.


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