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Reducing the risk of infection associated with vascular access devices through nanotechnology: a perspective

Authors Zhang L, Keogh, Rickard

Received 21 June 2013

Accepted for publication 2 October 2013

Published 21 November 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 4453—4466


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Li Zhang,1 Samantha Keogh,1,2 Claire M Rickard1,2

1Centre for Health Practice Innovation, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, 2Centre for Clinical Nursing, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Abstract: Intravascular catheter-related infections are still a major problem in health care and are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and additional cost. The formation of microbial biofilm on catheters makes these infections particularly complicated, as microbial cells that detach from the biofilm can lead to infection, and because these microorganisms are highly resistant to many antimicrobial agents; thus, catheter removal is often required to successfully treat infection. To reduce the risks of catheter-related infections, many strategies have been applied, such as improvements in aseptic insertion and post-insertion care practices, implantation techniques, and antibiotic coated or impregnated materials. However, despite significant advances in using these methods, it has not been possible to completely eradicate biofilm infections. Currently, nanotechnology approaches seem to be among the most promising for preventing biofilm formation and resultant catheter-related bloodstream infection (especially with multi-resistant bacterial strains). In this review, current knowledge about catheter technology and design, the mechanisms of catheter-related bloodstream infection, and the insertion and care practices performed by medical staff, are discussed, along with novel, achievable approaches to infection prevention, based on nanotechnology.

Keywords: catheter related infections, biofilm, nanotechnology

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