Antimicrobial Coating Developed by University of Manchester Researchers Could Reduce Need to Replace Catheters

April 17, 2012 – 5:27 pm

Researchers at the University of Manchester are developing a new antimicrobial coating for catheters, according to a Society for General Microbiology press release. The coating could potentially also be used for other medical implants, such as artificial heart valves and prosthetic devices. The team has investigated several positively charged compounds, known to have antimicrobial effects. They developed a new combination of compounds that killed bacteria such as Escherichia coli during research on glass surfaces.

Bacteria in urinary catheters tend to clump together and form biofilms. This makes it difficult to clear infections using antibiotics. The problem can be solved by replacing the catheter, but catheter replacement is costly and time-consuming. The new coating would reduce the need to replace the catheter by delaying the attachment of bacteria to the catheter surface, resulting in decreased healthcare costs and increased patient comfort.

The researchers reported their work at the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference in Dublin last month. The society is the largest microbiology society in Europe and the publisher of four journals. The Spring Conference was held 26-29 March at the Convention Centre Dublin, Ireland.

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