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 [email protected]
. Please also send any other informal inquiries or queries to the same email address.
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