Emerging medical and engineering strategies for the prevention of long-term indwelling catheter blockage.

Urinary catheters have been used on an intermittent or indwelling basis for centuries, in order to relieve urinary retention and incontinence. Nevertheless, the use of urinary catheters in the clinical setting is fraught with complication, the most common of which is the development of nosocomial urinary tract infections, known as catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Infections of this nature are not only significant owing to their high incidence rate and subsequent economic burden but also to the severe medical consecutions that result. A range of techniques have been employed in recent years, utilising various technologies in attempts to counteract the perilous medical cascade following catheter blockage. This review will focus on the current advancement (within the last 10 years) in prevention of encrustation and blockage of long-term indwelling catheters both from engineering and medical perspectives, with particular emphasis on the importance of stimuli-responsive systems.

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H, Journal of engineering in medicine. 2018 May 01 [Epub ahead of print]

Scarlet Milo, Jonathan Nzakizwanayo, Hollie J Hathaway, Brian V Jones, A Toby A Jenkins

1 Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Bath, UK., 2 School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK., 3 Department of Chemistry, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK., 4 Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, UK.