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Novel approaches for prevention of biofilms formed on medical indwelling devices, e.g. catheters
EC contribution
: € 2.971.045
: 36 months
Starting date
: 01/01/2012
Funding scheme
: Collaborative project
: Ultrasound, catheters, biofilms, enzymes
Contract/Grant agreement number
: 278402
Project web-site


NOVO will develop novel sonochemical and enzymatic technologies for antimicrobial functionalization of medical devices motivated by the fact that conventional antimicrobial treatments fail in the prevention of biofilms.


More than 60% of bacterial infections currently treated in hospitals are caused by bacterial biofilms. Catheter-associated biofilm urinary tract infections alone account for approximately 40% of all hospital-acquired infections including approximately half of the patients receiving an indwelling urethral catheter. However, the existence of distinct bacterial phenotypes, and the biofilm polymer matrix where the bacteria are incorporated, makes biofilms resistant to most conventional antibacterial agents and to the host defence mechanism. As a result, urologists have to remove the catheter from the patient after 24-48 hours along with prolonged antibiotic therapy in case of infection.


NOVO aims to develop three distinct strategies for prevention of biofilms on medical indwelling devices. First, sonochemical coating with nanoparticles to impart antibacterial surface properties will be assessed (fig.2A). Second, coating of antimicrobial phenolics will be investigated (fig.2B). The third approach involves the immobilisation of enzymes in-situ generating antimicrobial molecules (fig.2C).

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