Silver coatings to combat catheter associated infections

Period of Performance: 02/01/2006 - 07/31/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Acrymed, Inc.
Beaverton, OR 97008
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Abstract Indwelling catheterization is a leading cause of nosocomial infections that present an enormous drain of health care funding in the US. Clinical infections associated with urinary catheterization have been estimated to add more than $1000 to patient care. Those that occur with central venous catheterization escalate the cost to between $35,000 and $50,000 per infection, with a mortality rate that exceeds 35%. The incorporation of antimicrobiotics and antiseptics into catheter materials in order to reduce the rate of associated infections has been investigated for the past thirty years with limited success. In particular, it has been difficult to demonstrate that antimicrobial catheters provide a significant clinical benefit when used for long-term catheterization (> 1 week). The main limitation has been to obtain a sufficient sustained release of the antimicrobial agent to prevent the colonization and biofilm formation that serves as a reservoir for infecting microbes. We have developed a stabilized sustained release silver reservoir that has proven to be highly effective in prolonging the antimicrobial activity in a number of wound care products. Preliminary studies have shown that this technology is adaptable for use in hydrophobic silicone materials, and treated catheters can inhibit microbial growth and biofilm formation for at least 10 days. This project is intended to confirm and extend our initial observations with the aim of perfecting a technology for improving catheters. Successful commercialization would significantly improve catheter design and contribute to a reduction in health care expenditure for nosocomial infections.