A new antibacterial coating for intravascular catheters prevents the formation of bacterial biofilm and keeps the devices clean for weeks.
Intravascular catheters are commonly used in hospitals, and can become a source of infection by bacteria. To reduce that risk, the team from Brown University created a liquid coating made up of dissolved polyurethane and the antimicrobial drug auranofin. The mixture was applied to the catheter, drying into an elastic polymer coating that will gradually release the auranofin to inhibit the growth of biofilms. In tests, the coating was active for 26 days, and altering the concentration of the drug in the material could allow for catheters that release different amounts over different times.
Image: Coated samples kept their surroundings clear of bacteria, while uncoated samples did not.