Intravascular catheters are a bane of clinical medicine, being one of the chief ways people get infected inside of hospitals. They have to be replaced routinely, putting extra strain on nurses and doctors and causing discomfort to patients. There are a ways to keep catheters relatively clean with sterile technique and specialized dressings, but there’s a great deal of room left for improvement, something that scientists at Brown University are now tackling.
The Brown team has developed a highly stretchable coating made of a polyurethane that releases auronafin, an antirheumatic drug that has been shown to also be an antimicrobial. The coating can be applied to the surfaces of a catheter that can bend and stretch, while the drug is slowly released to prevent the formation of bacterial films and the spread of infection.
The polyurethane material is designed to protect the drug, but to slowly break down at a predetermined rate. By raising or lowering the concentration of the drug within the material, different catheters can be made to release different amounts of the drug at any given time.
The researchers have already studied the new approach in the laboratory and have shown that it works to stop the growth of new MRSA cells for almost a month, depending on the concentration used, as well as to completely prevent the formation of MRSA biofilms.
We hope this research continues and we soon have reliable, safe, and clean catheters that can last for weeks at a time without the constant fear of them starting serious maladies.
Study in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology: Auranofin Releasing Antibacterial and Antibiofilm Polyurethane Intravascular Catheter Coatings…
Via: Brown University…