A key challenge for the optimal performance of medical devices is the prevention of bacterial attachment. The consequence of bacterial attachment to the surfaces of medical devices is the potential to initiate the establishment of highly resistant surface associated biofilms. Biofilms then present as sources of bacterial infection and reservoirs of plasmids that carry antibiotic resistant genes. It is estimated that 80% of hospital derived infections involve biofilms and this technology would potentially reduce this figure and have a positive impact on patient outcomes.
The University of Nottingham has developed a technology that is a novel class of materials (unique acrylate and methacrylate polymers) resistant to bacterial attachment discovered using a high throughput materials discovery platform with up to 81%, 99%, 99% reduction in bacterial coverage of P. aeruginosa (gram-), S. aureus (gram+) and uropathogenic E. coli (gram-) respectively, compared to market leading an-bacterial silver hydrogel as well as clinically isolated strains. Lead formulations prevent biofilm formation through resistance to bacterial attachment rather than a killing mechanism (supported by the unaltered growth profile of bacteria in contact with hit materials).