Physical approaches for preventing catheter-associated bacteraemia

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Prof Andrew McBain, Dr M Dickinson, Dr Anuradha Jayanti  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Healthcare-associated infections cause life-threatening harm to patients, incur major additional treatment costs and is high NHS priority. Patients with kidney disease are especially susceptible to harm associated with dialysis catheter use. These catheters, essential to the delivery of life-sustaining dialysis treatment (70-75% of incident and 30-40% of prevalent dialysis patients and higher in developing nations)) are a major driver of bloodstream infection and increased mortality in patients receiving dialysis. Antibiotic

locks, systemic and topical antibiotics are the mainstay of management of both empiric and definitive infections. In an era of global emergency of infections with drug-resistant organisms, non-pharmacological approach to managing catheter infections would be game-changing.

Ultraviolet (UV) light has been proposed as an alternative to antibiotics. UV-C band of wavelength 250-270 nm is considered germicidal. Previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of delivering UV-light into the lumen by exposing the catheter hubs to light – emitting diodes. But this technique may not result in effective irradiation of the entire length of these catheters. Fibre-optics for delivery of UV light has been proposed, but the precise dose and duration of UV delivery for germicidal effect, optimal method for identifying colonised biofilms in explanted vascular catheters from patients with and without bacteraemia, and effect on vascular endothelium are unknown. We propose to address these within the current project to develop a novel therapy using a novel laboratory model of haemodialysis catheters.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject. Candidates with previous laboratory experience are particularly encouraged to apply.

How To Apply

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title.

For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website”

Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website


Wu HHL, Nixon AC, Dhaygude AP, Jayanti A, Mitra S (2021). Is home hemodialysis a practical option for older people? Hemodial Int. 2021 Oct;25(4):416-423. doi: 10.1111/hdi.12949. Epub 2021 Jun 16.PMID: 34133069
Gleeson HF, Wood TA, Dickinson M. (2006) Laser manipulation in liquid crystals: an approach to microfluidics and micromachines. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2006 Oct 15;364(1847):2789-805. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2006.1855. PMID: 16973490
Zakian C, Dickinson M, King T. (2006) Dynamic light scattering by using self-mixing interferometry with a laser diode. Appl Opt. 2006 Apr 1;45(10):2240-5. doi: 10.1364/ao.45.002240.
PMID: 16607990
Sainter AW, King TA, Dickinson MR (2004) Effect of target biological tissue and choice of light source on penetration depth and resolution in optical coherence tomography. J Biomed Opt. 2004 Jan-Feb;9(1):193-9. doi: 10.1117/1.1628243. PMID: 14715073
Saville CR, Metris A, Humphreys GJ, O'Neill C, Barrett P, Fernandez-Piquer J, McBain AJ (2021) Transitory Shifts in Skin Microbiota Composition and Reductions in Bacterial Load and Psoriasin following Ethanol Perturbation. mSphere. 2022 Jun 21:e0017122. doi: 10.1128/msphere.00171-22.
El-Chami C, Choudhury R, Mohammedsaeed W, McBain AJ, Kainulainen V, Lebeer S, Satokari R, O'Neill CA.(2022) Multiple Proteins of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG Are Involved in the Protection of Keratinocytes From the Toxic Effects of Staphylococcus aureus. Front Microbiol. 2022 May 11;13:875542. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.875542. eCollection 202