Infection of biological implants is of growing concern in the United States where approximately 100,000 indwelling vascular catheters become infected each year at an estimated cost of $300 million.
Current resistance techniques rely heavily on binding agents to integrate antiseptics or antibiotics, but US-based CardioTech International has just announced the development of an infection-resistant polyurethane coating.
Cardiotech is using textile technology to incorporate antibiotics into a proprietary polyurethane coating without the use of binders, resulting in long-term antimicrobial activity.
Dr Martin Bide, Professor of Textiles at the University of Rhode Island, a partner in the project, commented, ‘our ability to take concepts from the well-known area of dyes and textiles, and apply them to antibiotics and medical materials, is an exciting breakthrough. We can now make biomaterials that are inherently infection resistant over extended periods of time.’
It is thought that this technology could also lead to the synthesis of ‘smart’ antibiotics or biomaterials that would have selective affinity for a specific function.’