First prize: Novel uropathogen-resistant coatings inspired by marine mussels

R Ko, PA Cadieux, JL Dalsin, BP Lee, CN Elwood, H Razvi
Journal of Endourology 22 (6), 1153-1160, 2008.

Background and Purpose: Success in the prevention of urinary device infections has been elusive, largely due to multiple bacterial attachment strategies and the development of urinary conditioning films. We investigated a novel anti-fouling coating consisting of mussel adhesive protein mimics conjugated to polyethylene glycol (mPEG-DOPA3) for its potential to resist conditioning film formation and uropathogen attachment in human urine.

 Methods: Model TiO2-coated silicon disks (75 mm2) were either coated with mPEG-DOPA3 or left uncoated and sterilized using ethylene oxide gas. For bacterial attachment experiments, coated and uncoated surfaces were separately challenged with bacterial strains comprising six major uropathogenic species for 24 hours at 37°C in human pooled urine. Starting inoculum for each strain was 105 CFU/mL and 0.5 mL was used per disk. Following incubation, the disks were thoroughly rinsed in phosphate buffered saline to remove non-adherent and weakly-adherent organisms and cell scrapers were employed to dislodge those that were firmly attached. Adherent bacteria were quantitated using dilution plating. Representative disks were also examined using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray analysis, and live/dead viability staining.

 Results: The mPEG-DOPA3 coating significantly resisted the attachment of all uropathogens tested, with a maximum >231-fold reduction in adherence for Escherichia coli GR-12, Enterococcus faecalis 23241, and Proteus mirabilis 296 compared to uncoated TiO2 disks. Scanning electron microscopy and viability staining analyses also reflected these results and demonstrated the ability of the coating to resist urinary constituent adherence as well.

 Conclusion: Model surfaces coated with mPEG-DOPA3 strongly resisted both urinary film formation and bacterial attachment in vitro. Future in vitro and in vivo studies will be conducted to assess whether similar findings can be demonstrated when these polymer coatings are applied to urologic devices.


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