Healthcare-acquired infections are increasing in rate and severity;they present a significant challenge to the medical community as a top-ten leading cause of death in the U.S. Nearly half of these infections are associated with the use of a medical device. Central venous catheters (CVCs) are responsible for approximately 90% of all catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs). The resulting 300,000 infections are associated with as many as 28,000 deaths per year in America alone. CRBSIs prolong hospital stays, induce human suffering, and magnify healthcare costs (up to $2.68 billion). Infection is four times more likely to occur in patients with catheter-related thrombosis (CRT), and up to 67% of patients with CVC develop CRT. In addition to increasing the risk of infection, CRT is associated with thromboembolic conditions that are the leading cause of in-hospital mortality in the U.S. The current paradigm for preventing CRBSI and CRT has been to introduce antimicrobial or antithrombotic agents to reduce the concentrations of bacteria or platelets on the catheter surface. The activity of antimicrobial catheters can be overwhelmed by high concentrations of bacteria, and their efficacy is primarily limited to the initial elution spike of agents in the first few days. Anticoagulant-coated catheters can suffer from contamination issues and have not been shown to reduce mortality rates associated with thrombotic events. Sharklet Technologies Inc. (STI) aims to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating our proprietary Sharklet micro-pattern (Sharklet MP) into catheter surfaces to ultimately reduce CVC-related infection and to validate the ability of the Sharklet surface to prevent platelet adhesion leading to thrombosis. STI's preliminary data demonstrates that the Sharklet MP inhibits bacterial colonization as well as platelet adhesion and activation-thereby offering a dual capacity to prevent CRBSI and CRT. The overall goal of this multi-phase SBIR project is to develop, validate, and commercialize the application of the Sharklet MP surface on a nextgeneration anti-infective, anti-thrombotic CVC. The specific Phase I goal is to show the efficacy of the Sharklet MP by pursuing the following Aims: 1) prove that we can retard pathogenic Staphylococci colonization on Sharklet surfaces in a vascular environment, and 2) prove that we can decrease platelet adhesion and subsequent thrombin formation on Sharklet surfaces compared to un-patterned control surfaces. Phase II work will then focus on validation with an in vivo animal model, in vitro testing with other pathogens, durability testing against deleterious drug compounds, and manufacturing methods for the Sharklet CVC. Phase I &II results are essential for Phase III collaboration with private-sector partners/investors with whom we are already discussing this application. The potential impact of a successful multi-phase SBIR will be the production of a new Sharklet CVC that will allow clinicians/hospitals to improve patient care and reap significant cost savings by substantially reducing the major burden of nosocomial infections and in-hospital mortality due to thrombosis.
The most serious and common complications of central venous catheters (CVC) are catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI), which accounts for more than 30% of the deaths that result from hospital-acquired infections and incurs medical costs as high as $2 billion annually in the U.S. alone, and catheter-related thrombosis (CRT), which can lead to thromboembolism, a major contributor to in-hospital mortality. Unlike impregnation of the CVC surface with antimicrobial agents or coating with anticoagulants that have severe limitations in addressing CRBSI and CRT, a next-generation solution that incorporates the non-kill Sharklet" microscopic pattern onto the catheter surface can inhibit both bacterial colonization that leads to CRBSI and platelet adhesion that leads to CRT, thereby improving patient care. This multi-phase research effort will help develop and commercialize an anti-infective, anti-thrombotic CVC that has the Sharklet micro- pattern integrated on the catheter surface with the objective of improving patient safety by reducing in-hospital infection, morbidity, mortality, and costs.