Micro_patterned Surfaces for Reducing the Risk of Ventilator_Associated Pneumonia

Period of Performance: 06/01/2014 - 05/31/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sharklet Technologies, Inc.
Aurora, CO 80045
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the most costly and second most common hospital-acquired infection (HAI), accounting for over 86% of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP). Some 300,000 HAP patients are treated annually in the U.S., at an estimated annual hospital cost of more than $1.5 billion. The current paradigm for preventing VAP has been to implement patient care bundle practices and to use antimicrobial agents that reduce bacterial colonization on the tube surfaces. However, these strategies have not demonstrated consistent efficacy or widespread adoption. A major concern is the use of antimicrobial agents that lead to resistance patterns that make infections more difficult to treat. Under this multi-phase SBIR project, Sharklet Technologies therefore proposes to advance the state-of-the-art in this key area by developing, validating, and commercializing a novel endotracheal tube (ETT) design that is capable of sustained biofilm inhibition and that does not rely on traditional antibiotic coatings. This novel technology is based upon the proven Sharket-patterned surface that has been developed successfully under previous SBIR funding. Phase I studies met and exceeded research goals to optimize the Sharklet pattern and to obtain at least 50% reduction (p<0.05) of bacterial biofilm coverage of P. aeruginosa and MRSA in conditions that exacerbated biofilm growth such as mucin-rich media and presence of sub-lethal concentrations of antibiotics. The overall goal of this multi-phase SBIR project is to further develop, validate, and commercialize the use of the biomimetic Sharklet microscopic pattern to inhibit bacterial biofilm formation on the ETT surfaces without the use of antimicrobial agents. The Specific Aims for Phase II are to 1) manufacture prototypes of the Sharklet micro-pattern for completion of regulatory verification and validation testing;2) carry out an FDA-recognized in vitro ventilator-endotracheal- lung model to test Sharklet micro-patterned ETT prototypes for inhibition of colonization and biofilm formation with clinical isolates of the most common VAP causative pathogens;3) demonstrate reduced microbial colonization, biofilm formation, and lumen occlusion in a sheep model;and 4) carry out a clinical pilot study in the Massachusetts General Hospital's Surgical ICU to demonstrate reduced ETT colonization, biofilm formation and lumen occlusion. We will also submit a 510(k) with all of the Phase II data to obtain a device-level claim. The Phase II project will be carried out by the expert interdisciplinary R&D team that completed the Phase I work and that has completed successful Phase I and Phase II SBIR projects for NIH previously. Post-Phase II commercialization will involve scaled-up manufacturing methods for ETTs with Sharklet-patterned inner, outer, and cuff surfaces. The Phase II SBIR data will be essential in attracting and fully engaging industry partners with whom we are already discussing this technology (see letters).