Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Lee H. Lee

Committee Member

John Gaynor

Committee Member

Ann Marie DiLorenzo


Prosthetic joint implantations have revolutionized orthopedic medicine by allowing individuals to regain physical function with minimal side effects. However, they are susceptible to post- surgical complications due to bacterial infections. Three significant bacteria that are responsible for the development of joint infections include Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which act by adhering to the prosthesis and form biofilms thus becoming antibiotic-resistant. It has been reported that green tea polyphenols, which are extracted from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, have antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti- inflammatory properties. The purified, and modified epigallocatechin-3-gallate-stearate (EGCGS) and palmitoyl-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (P-EGCG) are more efficient and have shown their synergistic effect on antibiotics indicating they could potentially play a positive role in the elimination of infection. In this study, the inhibitory effect of EGCG-S and P-EGCG with or without two antibiotics (Bacitracin or Polymyxin B) on the three most prominent bacteria was investigated. Colony-forming unit (CFU) assays were used to determine the percent of inhibition by the tea polyphenols. Time course studies were performed using CF1 and CF2 formulations to determine the percent of inhibition. Congo Red assays were used to analyze the effect of tea polyphenols on biofilm. Crystal violet quantitative biofilm assays were used to analyze the effect of tea polyphenols on the percent of biofilm inhibition. This study showed that EGCG-S and P-EGCG, when used in combination with Bacitracin or Polymyxin B resulted in the best antibacterial effect and could be used as a treatment against bacteria that cause joint infections. CF1 and CF2 formulations are also promising treatment options.

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