The specially coated urinary catheter will be studied in six hospitals across the UK, in a bid to determine whether predicting laboratory results transform into significantly reduced infection rates and decrease costs for patients requiring a catheter.

In 2012, Scientists from the Schools of Pharmacy and Life Sciences have discovered bacteria resistant materials, which were later developed for medical use by the Cambridgeshire firm Camstent.

Wellcome, a global charitable foundation, has provided funding to support research on these bacteria resistant materials.

Camstent chief medical officer Dr Dave Hampton said: “Catheter acquired urinary tract infections account for 38% of all hospital acquired infections prolonging the time patients spend in hospital and costing many of them their lives.

“These infections also cost the healthcare systems around the world billions in unplanned care, increased medication and congested waiting lists.”

Medical device associated infections will result in systemic infections and device failure. In 2012, Nottingham team discovered a new group of structurally related polymers that can reduce the attachment of pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Proteus, Staphylococcus and Escherichia coli.

The new materials can reduce infection by inhibiting the formations of biofilm at the early stages.

The experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology assisted the development of new materials. They initially developed the materials that can screen simultaneously multiple unique polymers through micro-array process.

Nottingham team is planning to use these materials on other medical devices. The coating can also be used for implants such as cochlear implants, prosthetic joints and dental products.

Wellcome’s Innovations team member Dr Tim Knott said: This new material could be hugely important in helping prevent spread of potentially deadly infection and in addressing an urgent global health problem. Reducing infection is vital for patients and for healthcare systems across the world.”

Image: The specially coated urinary catheter will be trialled in six hospitals across the­­ UK. Photo: courtesy of University of Nottingham.