Novel Antimicrobial Surface Coatings for Urologic Devices

Health Issue:Urinary catheters provide drainage of the bladder to an external collecting device and are the most commonly placed medical devices. Ureteral stents provide drainage of urine from the kidney to the bladder and are used in the treatment of kidney stones. Both of these devices are foreign bodies in the urinary tract and allow bacteria to adhere and result in urinary tract infections and encrustations leading to device blockage and malfunction. Catheter and ureteral stent-associated infections prolong hospital stay, result in greater health care costs and may result in blood-borne bacterial infections possibly resulting in death. Antibiotics may be given for the duration that the drainage devices remain in the body, but there is great concern that the overuse of antibiotics will lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, or superbugs. Novel ways to reduce catheter and stent related infections would certainly improve patient care and decrease costs to the health care system without inducing resistant superbugs. Project Objective: To develop and test a novel peptide (protein) coating on urinary devices to reduce device-related urinary tract infection. Work to Undertake: Urinary catheters and stents will be coated with this novel peptide and evaluated for their ability to resist infection and encrustation using test tubes, bacterial cultures, and animals. Ultimately, human trials will be required. Unique to this research program/proposal of research: This novel peptide coating was discovered at the University of British Columbia by two researchers and is already being applied to artificial joints and implants used in orthopaedics. This will be the first use of this novel, promising technique in protecting urologic devices from infection and encrustation.