Novel Anti-bacterial Nano-composite Coatings for Urinary Catheters

Researchers at the University of Dundee have developed a novel coating strategy to prevent urinary catheter-related infections and complications.

→ Potent, synergistic antibacterial activity
→ Anti-adhesive properties
→ Repellent to bacteria


Catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) resulting from indwelling (Foley) urinary catheters are the most common infections acquired by patients in health care facilities. Recent prevalence surveys report that a urinary catheter is the most common indwelling device, present in 45–79% of patients in adult critical care units. As biofilm ultimately develops on all of these devices, the high frequency of use means there is a substantial burden attributable to these infections. One estimate put the annual cost to the NHS of complications linked to catheters at £2.5bn. 
The Urinary Catheters Market is in growth and is estimated to reach 2.19 Billion USD by 2022 ( Foley catheters currently dominate this sector due to the rising geriatric population and increasing incidence of urinary incontinence. Despite the well-documented issues, there has been little success in bringing new and effective products to market to reduce CAUTIs - novel strategies are clearly required to prevent biofilm formation on the devices. 

The Opportunity

A multidisciplinary research team at the University of Dundee have developed a novel nanocomposite coating strategy for urinary catheters to effectively overcome the issues of bacterial adhesion and colonisation.
The coatings comprise of multiple nano-layers of three materials with the following properties:
  • Potent, synergistic antibacterial activity 
  • Anti-adhesive properties 
  • Repellent to bacteria
The novel strategy shown in figure 1 involves a multilayer system and can be coated onto both the inner and outer surfaces of a urinary catheter. The system consists of a two material sublayer coated onto the silicone substrate - this has improved bonding strength and potent antibacterial activity. A three material gradient multilayer is laid on top which has bacterial repellence, antibacterial and anti-adhesive properties. The anti-adhesive properties are laid down in a gradient with a gradually increasing concentration from the substrate to top surface.

Commercial Opportunity

The University is seeking a commercial partner for this technology and contact is welcomed from organisations interested in developing, licensing or exploiting this opportunity.

Download PDF: Novel Anti-bacterial Nano-composite Coatings for Urinary Catheters

IP Status: A patent application is being drafted and further details are available under NDA.

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