Permanent Bacteria Barrier for Implantable Medical Devices

Here is an innovation that may rule the bacteria barrier domain for implantable medical devices. It's another marvel that blossomed at the Langer labs and bloomed at Semprus Biosciences.

Vimal K. Puthiyadath

Christopher Loose, CTO and co-founder of Semprus Biosciences; David L. Lucchino, CEO and co-founder of Semprus; Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT; and other eminent researchers described their novel permanent solution for keeping bacteria off implanted medical devices in a paper published last year in the journal Science Translation Medicine (registration required).

This biomaterial, polySB, is bound to the surface of a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) to form a conformal polymer surface that attracts water molecules. It creates a hydrophilic layer that will resist protein adsorption and cell adhesion. PolySB-modified PICCs showed a reduction of up to 99.9 percent in microbial attachment over unmodified devices.

If this could be applied to implantable medical devices, it would permanently barricade harmful microbes from the device's surface. This could reduce blood clots and infections.

"Basically, we've developed a long-lasting solution that blocks negative consequences in the body by making devices look more like the human body," Loose said in an MIT press release.

Once we had clear confirmation that there was an enormous unmet need, in terms of cost and patient impact, we had a clear business plan refined through the competitions, and even more so thereafter. It gave us a pathway to say, "This is how we can solve a big problem and here's the pathway to do it."

I feel this will revolutionize the implantable medical device domain and will enhance the quality of life of patients. What do you think?

Stay relevant as a medical device packaging engineer

Vimal K. Puthiyadath, Biomedical Electronics Engineer

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