Bio-Inspired, Engineered Microtopographies Reduce Platelet Adhesion and Activation on Blood-Contacting Materials (2014)

Platelet adhesion and activation are key events in thrombus or clot formation on blood-contacting biomaterials. Thus understanding the complex interactions between biomaterial surface properties and platelets is important for developing vascular access devices that limit thromboembolic events. Medical-grade poly(urethanes) are frequently used in blood-contacting medical devices due to their desirable mechanical properties and high level of hemocompatibility. Moreover, it has been shown that sub-platelet-sized micropatterns reduce platelet adhesion. Based on this evidence, we hypothesized that bio-inspired, antifouling Sharklet™ (SK) microtopographies replicated in biomedical thermoplastic poly(urethane) (TPU) reduce both platelet adhesion and activation compared to smooth (SM) controls.

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Micro-patterned surfaces reduce bacterial colonization and biofilm formation in vitro: Potential for enhancing endotracheal tube designs (2014)


Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a leading hospital acquired infection in intensive care units despite improved patient care practices and advancements in endotracheal tube (ETT) designs. The ETT provides a conduit for bacterial access to the lower respiratory tract and a substratum for biofilm formation, both of which lead to VAP. A novel microscopic ordered surface topography, the Sharklet micro-pattern, has been shown to decrease surface attachment of numerous microorganisms, and may provide an alternative strategy for VAP prevention if included on the surface of an ETT. To evaluate the feasibility of this micro-pattern for this application, the microbial range of performance was investigated in addition to biofilm studies with and without a mucin-rich medium to simulate the tracheal environment in vitro.

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Micro-patterned polyurethane surfaces for reducing bacterial attachment associated with catheter-associated blood stream infections (2013)

Background: Central venous catheters (CVCs) are responsible for approximately 90% of all catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs). These CRBSIs, commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, are associated with 28,000 deaths per year in the U.S. as well as prolonged hospital stays and increased healthcare costs. A common strategy used to prevent CRBSIs has been to impregnate CVCs with antimicrobial agents, which can be limited by the short duration of efficacy and the potential for contributing to antimicrobial resistance. A novel micro-topography may provide an alternative strategy as it has been shown to reduce bacterial attachment and biofilm formation without the use of antimicrobial agents. This micro-pattern also inhibits bacterial migration, offering the possibility of reducing bacterial access into the bloodstream via the CVC. The objective of this study was to determine the performance of the Sharklet micro-pattern in reducing S. aureus attachment to samples made in the same material as CVCs after whole blood pre-conditioning.

Micropatterned Surfaces for Reducing the Risk of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection: An In Vitro Study on the Effect of Sharklet Micropatterned Surfaces to Inhibit Bacterial Colonization and Migration of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (2011)

One of our greatest accomplishments at Sharklet has been our work on urinary tract infections. UTI’s are common in hospitals, causing discomfort for the patient and increased costs for the hospital. A urinary catheter with Sharklet on the surface should help reduce the incidence of these infections and help make the world a better place. Read More