Background The objective of our study was to measure and compare the elution characteristics of teicoplanin from poly(methyl methacrylate) PMMA beads with those of poly(glycolide-co-lactide) PGLA-added beads. Methods The study included two groups of PMMA + teicoplanin beads. PMMA was added to teicoplanin in Group 1 and PMMA + PGLA was added to teicoplanin in Group 2. A total of 16 beads of 1 cm(3) were created for each group. Samples were added individually to tubes containing 3 ml of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Antibiotic elution was measured by measuring absorbance values of 1-ml samples taken at regular intervals using a UV-Vis spectrophotometer and cumulative percentages of drug release were calculated. In addition, the spectra of teicoplanin were identified using a FTIR spectrophotometer in a wavelength range of 400-4000 cm(-1). Results Drug elution in the PBS medium was measured and compared for Groups 1 and 2. The cumulative percentage of drug release from the PGLA-added beads (Group 2) was significantly higher (p = 0.01). The molecular structure of teicoplanin was also confirmed using FTIR. Conclusion The in vitro results showed that the addition of biodegradable PGLA into bone cement functions as a water-soluble porogen which allows for significant increases in the elution of teicoplanin from cement. This increase in elution suggests that the PGLA would allow for further fluid contact and exchange with the previously entrapped drug. These results may have important clinical applications.