Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


NanoQuench — Result In Brief

Project ID: 331416
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Spain

Prevention of biofilm formation

The primary cause of urinary catheter infections is the antibiotic resistant bacterial biofilm forming on the surface of these catheters. New strategies are necessary to efficiently prevent biofilm formation and reduce hospital associated infections.
Prevention of biofilm formation
Biofilms are a bacterial community growing within a self-produced polymeric matrix and are often seen in inserted medical devices, such as catheters. Their growth is likely to be regulated by a quorum-sensing (QS) system of communication that bacterial cells employ though the secretion of small hormone-like auto-inducers. Biofilms are resistant to immune response and antibiotics, rendering them a major factor in the morbidity and mortality of infections.

The goal of the EU-funded NANOQUENCH (Novel coatings to prevent biofilm formation on urinary catheters based on nanoantibiotics and quorum quenching compounds) project was the development of specific methods to coat indwelling medical devices and control microbial biofilms. The project focused on the development of a technological platform for shutting down QS and for novel antibacterial agents that prevent biofilm formation.

Researchers developed their strategy using gram negative bacteria biofilms of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa formed on polystyrene surfaces or on silicone-based strips and catheters. They found that a member of the hydrolase family of enzymes, acylase, efficiently degraded model QS signals and inhibited the P. aeruginosa biofilm. Moreover, nanospheres of biopolymer with antibiotics were even more effective in killing gram negative bacteria than their non-processed derivatives.

To develop antibiofilm surfaces in medical catheters, silicone strips were used for testing. An efficient antibiofilm layer-by-layer coating was built on these silicone strips using acylase and polyethilenimine. The coatings efficiently inhibited the adhesion of bacteria for up to 24 hours. In fact, the layers were functionally stable after contact with urine for seven days and preserved their biocompatibility after seven days in direct contact with skin fibroblasts.

Importantly, the strategy of NANOQUENCH for the prevention of biofilm formation on urinary catheters involved a completely innovative approach. Researchers were able to efficiently prevent biofilm formation and at the same time avoid development of bacterial resistance to the antibiotics.

Related information


Biofilm, urinary catheter, quorum-sensing, NANOQUENCH, acylase, polyethilenimine
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