Integrated System for Bacterial Detection and Biofilm Treatment On Indwelling Urinary Catheters.

This work introduces an integrated system incorporated seamlessly with a commercial Foley urinary catheter for bacterial growth sensing and biofilm treatment.

The system is comprised of flexible, interdigitated electrodes incorporated with a urinary catheter via a 3D-printed insert for impedance sensing and bioelectric effect-based treatment. Each of the functions were wirelessly controlled using a custom application that provides a user-friendly interface for communicating with a custom PCB via Bluetooth to facilitate implementation in practice.

The integrated catheter system maintains the primary functions of indwelling catheters - urine drainage, balloon inflation - while being capable of detecting the growth of Escherichia coli, with an average decrease in impedance of 13.0% after 24 hours, tested in a newly-developed simulated bladder environment. Furthermore, the system enables bioelectric effect-based biofilm reduction, which is performed by applying a low-intensity electric field that increases the susceptibility of biofilm bacteria to antimicrobials, ultimately reducing the required antibiotic dosage.

Overall, this modified catheter system represents a significant step forward for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) management using device-based approaches, integrating flexible electrodes with an actual Foley catheter along with the control electronics and mobile application.

CAUTIs, exacerbated by the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, represent a significant challenge as one of the most prevalent healthcare-acquired infections. These infections are driven by the colonization of indwelling catheters by bacterial biofilms.

IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering. 2021 Mar 18 [Epub ahead of print]

Ryan Cornelis Huiszoon, Jinjing Han, Sangwook Chu, Justin Matthew Stine, Luke Beardslee, Reza Ghodssi

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