The potential of photo-deposited silver coatings on Foley catheters to prevent urinary tract infections

Ian Cooper, Mauro Pollini, Federica Paladini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) represents one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality. The resistance demonstrated by many microorganisms to conventional antibiotic therapies and the increasing health-care costs have recently encouraged the definition of alternative preventive strategies,which can have a positive effect in the management of infections. Antimicrobial urinary catheters have been developed through the photo-chemical deposition of silver coatings on the external and luminal surfaces. The substrates are exposed to ultraviolet radiation after impregnation into a silver-based solution, thus inducing the in situ synthesis of silver particles. The effect of the surface treatment on the material was investigated through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and silver ion release measurements. The ability of microorganisms commonly associated with urinary tract infections was investigated in terms of bacterial viability, proliferation and biofilm development, using Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Proteus mirabilis as target organisms. The silver coatings demonstrated good distribution of silver particles to the substrate, and proved an effective antibacterial capability in simulated biological conditions. The low values of silver ion release demonstrated the optimum adhesion of the coating. The results indicated a good potential of silver-based antimicrobialmaterials for prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-420
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: C
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2016


  • Urinary catheter
  • Infection
  • Silver
  • Photo-reduction
  • Biofilm


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