Honorable Mention: Novel Omniphobic Coating To Reduce Hemodialysis Catheter Related Infections And Thrombosis
Tunneled dialysis catheters are frequently used in hemodialysis patients, both for short term and long term use. They are associated with a high rate of infections, clotting and malfunction and these complications often require hospitalization, additional procedures and can even be fatal.
Over the last several years, attempts have been made to coat the dialysis catheter with antibiotics and anti-coagulant (heparin). Unfortunately results from these studies have not been encouraging and these coatings are not used routinely.
We have taken a different approach by using a novel super repellent coating developed at the Harvard Wyss Institute. Our immediate goal is to create and test a Omni phobic tethered-liquid perfluorocarbon (TLP) coated hemodialysis catheter to prevent biological fouling(to reduce infections) and decrease thrombogenicity(to reduce clotting and malfunction). In the future, we also hope to use this technology on other components of the dialysis circuit to allow for hemodialysis without the need for systemic anticoagulation. As published in Nature Biotechnology, this coating prevents fibrin attachment, reduces platelet adhesion and activation, suppresses biofilm formation and is stable under physiologic blood flow. PICC lines have recently been coated using this technology and preliminary results show that the coated PICC lines are resistant to both thrombosis and biofilm formation. Perfluorocarbons used for the coating have been used medically in the past and have proven to be safe in humans.
Our strength also lies in our multidisciplinary team, with each member bringing in their expertise and unique point of views. We believe that together we are able to combine science, academic rigor and clinical expertise with technology, quality controlled production and in depth understanding of the business aspects.
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