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A unique and universal antibacterial coating for prevention of hospital acquired infections associated with the use of medical devices

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New medical devices coating helps beat infection

Each year millions of people are affected by healthcare associated infections (HAIs) caused by microbial biofilms on the surface of medical devices. These biofilms act as reservoirs and entryways for bacteria.


Modern healthcare employs many types of invasive and non-invasive medical devices to treat patients and help their recovery. These medical devices are behind more than 50 % of all HAIs, resulting in billions of euros in unplanned costs to healthcare systems around the world. Currently, antimicrobial substances and silver agent coatings are employed as preventative measures, while antibiotics are used to treat HAIs. However, this approach can contribute to antimicrobial resistance and is potentially dangerous due to harmful silver substances entering the body. Biofilm development prevented The EU-funded CYTAMED project addressed these challenges by developing a unique and stable antimicrobial coating that uses nontoxic, biocompatible organic compounds, which bind to the surface of both invasive and non-invasive devices through covalent bonding. The coating can be applied to a broad range of medical devices such as urinary catheters, venous catheters, dressings and ventilators. By preventing bacteria from adhering to medical devices, biofilm development is impeded, thereby protecting patients from developing an infection. “The strong chemical bond in the antibacterial coating prevents the release of components with potentially toxic or accumulation effects in the patient and reduces the ability of bacteria to develop resistance,” explains project coordinator Prof. Jacob Odeberg. Huge potential CYTAMED devised a business plan with the SME CytaCoat AB, who developed the coating to help bring it to market. The aim is to find licensing partners who are medical device manufacturers and can apply the coating protocol to their existing products and remain legal manufacturers. According to Prof. Odeberg: “The market potential as well as the number of potential customers for the CytaCoat technology is huge, since the coating can be applied on most materials being used by the medical device industry.” All patients using medical devices for which HAI’s is a problem may benefit from CytaCoat. The dipping technology used to coat the medical devices can be applied directly during the production process and was tested by three leading manufacturers of medical devices. “We have put a lot of effort into providing the manufacturer’s with samples based on both the new technology and the old electron beam technique and are confident that testing will bring us closer to the first licencing agreement,” comments Prof. Odeberg. Any manufacturer can, via licensing, coat their medical devices with CytaCoat – a unique antimicrobial technology, in their own premises. “The coating may be applied to medical devices used in various areas such as, urinary tract infections, wound infections, blood infections and ventilator associated pneumonia, offering a cost-effective solution to a significant healthcare problem,” points out Prof. Odeberg.


CYTAMED, medical device, healthcare associated infection (HAI), CytaCoat, biofilm, antimicrobial, dipping technology

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