The risk of deadly hospital infections could be reduced by coating medical equipment with newly-discovered materials that repel bacteria, as per a study by a team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh. The team used an advanced screening method to identify two inexpensive synthetic materials that could be used as coatings and significantly reduced the risk posed by various types of dangerous bacteria. Preventing bacteria from attaching to medical instruments – such as catheters, breathing tubes and artificial implants – could significantly reduce the risk of infections and the spread of disease. The team said that adding the protective layer reduced the numbers of bacteria found on the surface by up to 96% compared with existing uncoated devices. Once bacteria attach to a surface, they create a protective biological layer around themselves known as a biofilm. It acts as a physical barrier that makes the organisms highly resistant to antibiotics used to combat infections. Coating medical devices with substances can prevent the biofilms forming, and the researchers said existing materials are often expensive and only partially effective, with some risking allergic reactions in patients. Seshasailam Venkateswaran, of the university’s College of Science and Engineering, led the study and said: “Bacterial infections on medical devices are a serious and global issue. “With the continued emergence of highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, antibiotic-free polymer coatings which prevent a wide range of dangerous organisms from binding to such devices have tremendous potential to reduce infections.
The use of Poly(glycerol sebacate) in reinforced composites and as a coating on various structures has been introduced as Regenerez® by Secant Medical. This is the next-generation bioresorbable resin that serves as a platform for regenerative medicine, offering the potential to create a more favorable environment to promote tissue regeneration with a reduced inflammatory response compared to other bioresorbable materials. “Textile-reinforced composites formed with Regenerez have a diverse range of potential applications, including hernia and other compliant meshes, orthopedics and soft tissue repair products such as biomimetic tendon and ligament replacements, and implants that require partial or full-stage resorption,” says Ryan Heniford, business development director at Secant Medical. “We’re responding to what the market needs—a bioresorbable material that has tunable mechanical properties, enabling a functional implant that encourages healing without an acute inflammatory response.” Regenerez is very tough, elastic, elongates, and is a bioresorbable that's elastomeric in nature instead of very stiff and tough like the PGAs and PLAs that have been in the market traditionally. The polymer features tunable mechanical properties, simulates the modulus of human tissue, promotes healing without inducing a harmful immune response, and is characterized by a versatile platform that allows for further modification, according to the company. The material is suited for use in a variety of cardiovascular, neurovascular, orthopedic and surgical applications, including vascular grafts, bone regeneration, soft tissue engineering.