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Advanced Anti-bacterial Coating for Preventing Catheter-Associated Infections

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, February 28, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Urinary catheters are used as soon as a patient cannot control urine drain as a consequence of incontinence or urine retention. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) account for about one third of all hospital-acquired infections and more than 1 million CAUTIs occur annually in the United States and Europe. CAUTIs cost the UK NHS approximately £99 million per year and result in increased morbidity and mortality. Currently only a silver coated catheter and a PTFE-coated catheter are still widely used in hospitals. Unfortunately clinical studies have shown that the use of silver-coated or PTFE-coated urinary catheters has resulted in an insignificant reduction in infection. Our new idea is to combine the anti-bacterial property of silver and anti-adhesive property of PTFE in a single coating by incorporating PTFE nano-particles into a silver matrix using a cost-effective chemical deposition technique.

The aim of the proposed research is to develop the novel silver-PTFE nanocomposite coatings on full-length Foley catheters and to evaluate their anti-biofilm properties in a simulated in vivo environment mimicking human bladder and long-term catheterisation. The research proposal will focus on the achievement of the following specific objectives:

1. To coat urinary catheters with a layer of Ag-PTFE nano-composite coatings using the chemical plating system available at the Biomaterial Research Centre, Univ. of Dundee.
2. To evaluate the anti-stick and anti-bacterial properties of the nano-coatings using a Fluorescent Microscope, as compared with existing uncoated/coated catheters.
3. To characterize the surface properties of the coatings using SEM, XPS and OCA-20 etc.
4. To evaluate anti-bacterial performance of coated catheters with a bladder model that mimics human bladder.
5. To produce the complete prototypes- novel silver-PTFE coated catheters with anti-bacterial properties, which are suitable for clinical trials.

Applicants wishing to apply should submit a one-page covering letter stating your background, academic qualifications (i.e. Masters degree at 2:1 or above in a related subject), past research experience and interests, and future career aspirations. Please include a full CV, a copy of your academic transcript and the names and contact details of two referees to . Please also send any other informal inquiries or queries to the same email address.

References

1. Q. Zhao et al Development and evaluation of electroless Ag-PTFE composite coatings with anti-microbial and anti-corrosion properties. 2005. Applied Surface Science, 252 (5):1620–1627.
2. Chen Liu, Lei Geng, YiFan Yu, Yutong Zhang, Buyun Zhao and Qi Zhao (2018), Mechanisms of the enhanced antibacterial effect of Ag-TiO2 coatings. Biofouling, 34(2):190-199.
3. Guo R, Yin G, Sha X, Zhao Q, Wei L, Wang H (2015), The significant adhesion enhancement of Ag–polytetrafluoroethylene antibacterial coatings by using of molecular bridge. Applied Surface Science, 341:13-18

Funding Notes

To be eligible for a fully-funded PhD studentship, covering tuition fees and an annual stipend set at UKRI rates, the candidate must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education, further guidance can be found on the EPSRC website). Due to funding requirements the University of Dundee is limited to accepting only UK students.

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