Researchers at the University of Georgia’s College of Engineering have created a coating for medical devices that could help prevent infections, according to Georgia Health News.
The technology known as LINOREL, liquid-infusing nitric oxide-releasing silicone, coats devices such as catheters and surgical tools that are inserted into the body. This coating helps eliminate many bacterial infections.
Health-care-associated infections are acquired infections that about one in 25 hospital patients can obtain on any given day. Of these infections about one in seven are related to catheters or surgery caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
LINOREL technology, developed by Hitesh Handa, an engineering professor at UGA, may provide a solution to bacteria that contaminates medical scopes.
When catheters are inserted into the body, bacteria tends to cluster around the surface and can cause an infection. The coating on the LINOREL technology can interrupt the bacteria build-up that occurs on devices.
“The body uses nitric oxide as one of the mechanisms to fight clotting and infections,” Handa said. “Why shouldn’t we focus on materials that mimic what the body does?”
In a study, the researchers successfully used the nitric coating against Staph infection.
Additionally, Handa’s technology could help provide a more effective method to fighting bacterial infections and prevent other surgical problems such as counteracting blood clots when foreign objects are inserted into the body.
When the device releases the nitric oxide gas, it “fools the body” into thinking the device is part of the body and not an invader. As of now, Handa has created a start-up company called Innoveta Biomedical to help apply the technology to real world situations.
“I really want, in my lifetime, to take the materials to the market,” said Handa. “And help millions of patients who are facing challenges with health-care-acquired infections.”