To evaluate the performance of a new catheter design based on different hydrodynamics aiming to reduce the development of biofilm, and compare it with a conventional Foley catheter (FC).
The new proposed design (NPD) catheter is a modification of the FC, based on asymmetric positioning of the balloon and additional drainage holes allowing continuous urine drainage and complete voiding of the bladder. A first experiment was undertaken to assess drainage capability, and a second experiment was performed using a bioreactor with a set-up simulating the bladder and using the test catheter as a flow-through system. The biofilm formation of five bacterial species associated with catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) was determined after 24 h of incubation using an MTT assay. Morphological evaluation was performed using scanning electron microscopy. In-vitro determination of residual fluid, and quantitative and morphological data on biofilm formation on the intravesical and intraluminal parts of the tested catheters were assessed.
Residual fluid was significantly higher in the FC (5.60 ± 0.43 mL) compared with the NPD catheter (0.2 ± 0.03 mL). The NPD catheter showed significantly less biofilm formation (P<0.0001) than the FC. Catheter design had a variable effect on biofilm formation depending on the bacterial strain tested. There was significantly less intraluminal biomass compared with intravesical biomass in both catheters (P<0.0001). Multi-layered biofilms that covered the FC surfaces completely were seen for all tested strains, while the NPD catheter surfaces showed reduced biofilm formation.
Modifications of the hydrodynamic characteristics of a catheter can significantly reduce bacterial colonization. Integrated design approaches combining chemical, mechanical and topographical elements can help to reduce the occurrence of CAUTI.

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