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New Research Could Help to Prevent Blockages Faced by Many Long-Term Catheter Users

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/15/15  9:24 AM PST
Catheter Users

“New Research Could Help to Prevent Blockages Faced by Many Long-Term Catheter Users” by the University of Hampton, published in EurekAlert

The image shows a silicon catheter covered in the biofilm after 20 days exposure.

New research could lead to new treatments to prevent blockages and urinary tract infections experienced by many long-term catheter users.

Up to 50 percent of long-term catheter users experience encrustations and subsequent blockage, which result in severe trauma and pain for the individual and place high burdens on healthcare services and finances.

Using an imaging technique called episcopic differential interference contrast (EDIC) microscopy, researchers from the University of Southampton identified four clear stages to the development of a crystalline biofilm, which leads to encrustations.

The research also provided new insights into the role of the Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis) bacterium that causes the biofilm to form.

Dr Sandra Wilks, Senior Research Fellow in the University’s Centre for Biological Science and lead author of the study, said: “This has greatly enhanced our understanding of the components and stages involved in the formation of crystalline biofilms and encrustations. It provides important information, which will aid in the development of anti-biofilm materials and treatments to manage and ultimately prevent blockage, improving the quality of life of many long-term catheter users.”

The Southampton team used EDIC microscopy to study the development of the crystalline biofilm over a 24-day period on two common catheter materials — silicone and hydrogel latex.

Read the Full Article at EurekAlert.

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