Protecting the Antibacterial Coating of Urinal Catheters for Improving Safety

Ilana Perelshtein, Sivan Shoshani, Gila Jacobi, Michal Natan, Nataliia Dudchenko, Nina Perkas, Maria Tkachev, Rossella Bengalli, Luisa Fiandra, Paride Mantecca, Kristina Ivanova, Tzanko Tzanov, Ehud Banin, Aharon Gedanken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) are among the most common bacterial infections associated with prolonged hospitalization and increased healthcare expenditures. Despite recent advances in the prevention and treatment of these infections, there are still many challenges remaining, among them the creation of a durable catheter coating, which prevents bacterial biofilm formation. The current work reports on a method of protecting medical tubing endowed with antibiofilm properties. Silicone catheters coated sonochemically with ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) demonstrated excellent antibiofilm effects. Toward approval by the European Medicines Agency, it was realized that the ZnO coating would not withstand the regulatory requirements of avoiding dissolution for 14 days in artificial urine examination. Namely, after exposure to urine for 14 days, the coating amount was reduced by 90%. Additional coatings with either carbon or silica maintained antibiofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus while resisting dissolution in artificial urine for 14 days (C- or SiO2-protected catheters exhibited only 29% reduction). HR-SEM images of the protected catheters indicate the presence of the ZnO coating as well as the protective layer. Antibiofilm activity of all catheters was evaluated both before and after exposure to artificial urine. It was shown that before artificial urine exposure, all coated catheters showed high antibiofilm properties compared to the uncoated control. Exposure of ZnO-coated catheters, without the protective layer, to artificial urine had a significant effect exhibited by the decrease in antibiofilm activity by almost 2 orders of magnitude, compared to unexposed catheters. Toxicity studies performed using a reconstructed human epidermis demonstrated the safety of the improved coating. Exposure of the epidermis to ZnO catheter extracts in artificial urine affects tissue viability compared with control samples, which was not observed in the case of ZnO NPs coating with SiO2 or C. We suggest that silica and carbon coatings confer some protection against zinc ions release, improving ZnO coating safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-998
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jan 2024
StatePublished - 19 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Chemical Society.


This work was funded by the European Community’s Horizon 2020 Framework Program H2020 (H2020-720851 project PROTECT─precommercial lines for the production of surface nanostructured antimicrobial and antibiofilm textiles, medical devices, and water treatment membranes).

FundersFunder number
European Community’s Horizon 2020 Framework Program H2020H2020-720851


    • ZnO NPs
    • antibacterial activity
    • nanosafety
    • protective layer
    • skin toxicity


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