Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Biomedical Engineering
Sarah Chaji - University of Georgia
Co-Author(s): Jitendra Pant, Marcus Goudie, Ben Johnson, and Hitesh Handa, University of Georgia
Clotting and infection are two common problems associated with vascular catheters. Catheters are used in hospitals in thousands of patients every day and are highly prone to infection. The proteins in blood plasma such a fibrinogen and albumin attach to the catheters allowing bacteria to bind to the catheter surface leading to biofilm formation and infection. Frequent use of antibiotics has shown to create resistant strains of bacteria increasing the risk of infection. Thus making them an expensive approach for hospitals due to longer duration of infection recovery time. Nitric oxide (NO) is known to be a potent antibacterial and anti-thrombotic agent. Endothelial cells that line the inner walls of all blood vessels exhibit a NO flux of 0.5–4 × 10−10 mol cm−2 min−1 that helps prevent thrombosis. This research examines the potential of incorporating NO donor, SNAP (S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine) within Elast-eon E2As catheters (medical grade polymer). This research study consists of a bacterial adhesion assay on protein-exposed catheters made of SNAP and E2As against gram positive and negative bacteria. The results suggest that the SNAP/E2As catheters have the potential to improve the bactericidal activity of intravascular catheters, as well as other blood-contacting medical devices (e.g. vascular grafts, stents). The NO infused E2As polymeric material was able to keep a long duration of release while killing approximately 99.84% of S.aureus and 98.55% E.coli. Overall, the control catheters exposed to human fibrinogen protein have a higher affinity for bacterial adhesion than the unexposed E2As catheters. Based on bacterial adhesion assay NO proved to be effective in preventing biofilm formation even in the presence of fibrinogen. Since positive results were shown for the in vitro study, the future direction is doing animal studies on NO releasing vascular catheters evaluating clot formation and infection.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Institutes of Health
Faculty Advisor: Hitesh Handa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: My part of this research included doing all of the bacteria adhesion assays, protein adhesion assays, and the calculations for the bacterial reduction.