Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diamonds are a urologist’s best friend

18.11.2004


Wafer-thin coatings from diamond-like carbon can prevent dangerous biofilms of bacteria from forming on indwelling catheters in the urinary tract. What is more, the coated catheters glide into the ureter with considerably less friction, to the delight of medical staff, and even more so to that of the patients, who experience the procedure as substantially less unpleasant. The new coatings have been developed and tested by scientists in the experimental urology section of the University of Bonn in conjunction with the company NTTF in Rheinbreitbach and the Institute of Thin Film Technology of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. The project partners will present their initial and very promising findings at the MEDICA medical fair in Düsseldorf from 24 to 27 November.



In disorders of the urinary tract indwelling catheters in the lower urinary tract help patients to discharge their urine. However, sometimes the thin tubes are coated after as little as a few days with an infectious crust of bacteria and crystals, with unpleasant consequences: one third of all infections which patients contract in hospitals originate as the result of catheterisation of the lower urinary tract. For the German health care system this means additional costs of 500 million Euros annually.

‘Up to now there has not been any effective way of preventing bacteria from entering the urinary tract via the catheter and thereby triggering urinary tract infection,’ the Bonn researcher Dr. Norbert Laube explains. Several species of bacteria cause a steep increase in the urine pH value by their metabolism. The result is that salts and other substances which are normally found in suspension in the urine are precipitated and form a deposit. After only one week some catheters look like the inside of a coffee machine which has not been de-scaled for years. ‘Anyone can imagine how unpleasant the presence and even more the removal of a catheter which is thus coated with a hard crust must be for the patient,’ Dr. Laube adds. To make matters worse, ‘the crystalline biofilm of bacteria makes many kinds of medication less effective; even when antibiotics are used the infection is then often difficult to combat.’


In addition to urinary catheters there are also what are known as ureter splints (stents), which are inserted from the bladder right up to the kidney. For example, in ureteroliths or cases of cancer they ensure that the urine can be discharged without obstruction from the kidney to the bladder,’ Dr. Laube explains. The stents sometimes stay in the body for weeks or even months. Some patients have to use these ureter splints all their lives. If crystalline deposits develop, this can lead to life-threatening consequences.

Diamond-like carbon coatings could help

Together with Lisa Kleinen from the Institute of Thin Film Technology of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and Dr. Karin Schenk of the company NTTF (New Technologies in Thin Films), Dr. Laube is presenting initial research findings at the forthcoming MEDICA medical fair which show how it may be possible to avoid this incrustation. This team of physicists have coated catheters and ureter stents with an extremely thin layer of diamond-like carbon. DLC-coated surfaces do not react chemically with their environment; they are hardwearing, can be sterilised and reduce friction.

Even after three months in the body the coated stents show virtually no incrustation,’ says Dr. Andreas Meißner, Urological Resident Physician at Bonn’s University Clinic. ‘In addition, the catheters are easier to insert or replace than catheters currently on the market.’ Patients who were treated using these specially coated stents felt that the procedure was substantially less unpleasant. Moreover, the catheters needed to be replaced less often. Dr. Laube stresses, ‘Apart from the aspect of incrustation, the greater comfort for the patient is an important step forward in itself.’

Dr. Norbert Laube | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uni-bonn.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Vanishing capillaries
23.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>