Researchers at Monash University in Australia have developed a technique for creating 3D-designed surfaces that reduce bacterial growth. Their approach can lead to frequently touched surfaces in sanitary facilities resulting in less bacterial transmission. This should lead to a reduction in the incidence of hospital-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections in patients with urinary catheters.
Approximately 20% of patients are equipped with a urinary catheter during hospitalization, which means that a large number of people suffer from urinary tract infections. These infections can be difficult to treat, especially if a case is caused by an antibiotic-resistant bacterium. Another problem is the formation of biofilms, where bacteria form a thick viscous layer that antibiotics and the immune system cannot penetrate.
Monash researchers investigated whether microbial growth on surfaces could be reduced using 3D engineering techniques. They hoped to design a material for use in catheters and other high-risk surfaces that would result in a reduced chance of acquiring a hospital infection. The team found that bacteria tend to like sharp edges and corners that allow them to hide and prevent the flow of liquids from taking them away.
“Using E. coli As an example, we have found bacterial cells that form on surfaces and do so mostly in sharp corners. By removing these sharp features, bacteria can no longer colonize the surface as effectively, ”said Sara Ghavamian, a researcher involved in the study, in a Monash press release. “Controlling infection by physically altering the microarchitecture of these surfaces, rather than the traditional use of chemical agents, is not only a more enduring approach, but also an effective strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance.”
The researchers used UV lithography to create micropatron surfaces with a smooth transverse topography. They tested their material with three types of bacteria involved in hospital-acquired infections, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, i P. aeruginosa. Smooth surfaces designed in 3D reduced bacterial fixation by 55-68% and bacterial microcolonies by 53-77%.
“After equivalent incubation periods with the same bacteria, we found that while micropatternated surfaces were successful in reducing the number of microcolonies formed, they problematically increased the number of bacteria adhered compared to traditional micro-flat surfaces.” , said Ghavamian. “Compared to conventional sharp micropatternal surfaces, our smooth design demonstrated a simultaneous decrease in both the number of bacterial fixation and the formation of microcolonies compared to standard flat surfaces.”
Researchers expect the technique to lead to next-generation surfaces that harbor fewer bacteria. “Developing strategies to prevent bacterial colonization of surfaces, such as catheters, without the need for antimicrobial drugs or chemicals, is critical to stopping the formation of biofilms and the possible spread of harmful diseases,” Ghavamian said.
Study a Materials and interfaces applied by ACS: Three-dimensional micropatternation deters early bacterial adhesion and can eliminate colonization
Via: Monash University