Electrical microcurrent to prevent conditioning film and bacterial adhesion to urological stents

Gabi, Michael ; Hefermehl, Lukas ; Lukic, Danijela ; Zahn, Raphael ; Vörös, Janos ; Eberli, Daniel

In: Urological Research, 2011, vol. 39, no. 2, p. 81-88

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    Long-term catheters remain a significant clinical problem in urology due to the high rate of bacterial colonization, infection, and encrustation. Minutes after insertion of a catheter, depositions of host urinary components onto the catheter surface form a conditioning film actively supporting the bacterial adhesion process. We investigated the possibility of reducing or avoiding the buildup of these naturally forming conditioning films and of preventing bacterial adhesion by applying different current densities to platinum electrodes as a possible catheter coating material. In this model we employed a defined environment using artificial urine and Proteus mirabilis. The film formation and desorption was analyzed by highly mass sensitive quartz crystal microbalance and surface sensitive atomic force microscopy. Further, we performed bacterial staining to assess adherence, growth, and survival on the electrodes with different current densities. By applying alternating microcurrent densities on platinum electrodes, we could produce a self regenerative surface which actively removed the conditioning film and significantly reduced bacterial adherence, growth, and survival. The results of this study could easily be adapted to a catheter design for clinical use