"Smart Catheter" Developed For Prevention Of Catheter-Related InfectionsMain Category: Urology / Nephrology
Also Included In: Medical Devices / Diagnostics
Article Date: 27 Aug 2012
At the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, researchers announced that a new "smart catheter" is being developed in order to prevent catheter-related blood and urinary tract infections.
The new catheter can sense the start of an infection, and can automatically release an anti-bacterial substance to fight the infection.
According to Dipankar Koley, Ph.D., a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Mark Meyerhoff, Ph.D., at the University of Michigan, the "smart catheter" is being developed for both catheters inserted into blood vessels and the urinary tract.
"About 1.5 million healthcare-associated infections are reported in the United States alone each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths and up to $45 billion in extra health care costs.
Each year, around 30 million urinary catheters are inserted. Some of these catheters only remain in place briefly, such as during surgical procedures. However, some patients require long-term catheterization, such as individuals undergoing kidney dialysis, and those in intensive care units and long-term care facilities. The majority of these patients are already in frail health or are critically ill. As a result, major efforts to prevent catheter-related infections in health care settings are currently underway.
Although, infection-fighting catheters are already available and work by releasing antibiotic substances continuously. However, the new smart catheter, called the electromodulated smart catheter, senses the start of an infection, and only then releases its antibiotic substance, nitric oxide (NO).
The new smart catheter senses changes in the pH, or acid-base environment, around the catheter. Certain changes signal the critical point when bacteria have formed a sticky film on the catheter, and their numbers have increased to the point where a health-jeopardizing infection begins. At that point, the catheter "turns on" and releases NO, which disrupts the bacterial films and stops an infection. It then switches "off", preserving its reserves of NO-generating material.
Written By Grace Rattue
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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