An Innovative Self-Cleansing BioMaterial for use in Urinary Devices
Summary and details
The biomaterial functions in such a way that it can be used to deliver bioactive agents to the source of infection known to be on the device surface, in a controlled way. In addition to offering controlled drug delivery the innovative biomaterial has been designed to include a safeguard mechanism that that will initiate during the early stages of infection. This mechanism involves the use of materials that will self cleanse once they have become infected with bacteria. This should enable urinary devices and ultimately patients to remain free from infection for the duration the device is to be used.
The use of implanted medical devices is now routine in healthcare management within hospitals and nursing homes. Although there are substantial benefits associated with the use of inserted medical devices, there are very worryingly a number o f potentially dangerous complications that may lead to an increase in the time patients remain in hospital and more importantly in an increase in the number of patient deaths associated with the use of these devices. These complications arise principally because of the way in which a patient’s body reacts to insertion of a medical device and what it perceives to be as a foreign object. Consequently patients are often plagued by infection associated with the insertion of a medical device and this is seen to be one of the most critical disadvantages of an otherwise highly effective and beneficial medical treatment. Therefore there is an urgent need to improve what is often referred to as device-related infection through the development of new intelligent medical materials.
The developed ‘intelligent’ biomaterial improves the current situation for patients requiring the insertion of medical devices and will minimise the likelihood of patients developing infection. Ultimately this will result in shorter hospital stays, fewer hospital readmissions and reduce the need for surgical intervention. The use of self cleansing multi-functional materials represents a movement towards highly technological devices providing significant benefits to patients and the NHS by curbing the ever-increasing costs associated with this treatment.
The medical devices industry has an estimated market value of over £11 million. Although there is an increasing use of such devices the inherent difficulty in maintaining device integrity and clinical performance is a significant problem. Such problems cause 40% of all hospital acquired infections and costs the NHS approx £1billion/yr. The technology developed at QUB offers advanced materials with improved performance and quality providing a competitive advantage over currently used materials.