Antibacterial and Antibiofilm Polyurethane Coating for Intravascular Catheters


Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) are a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections worldwide. Our auranofin-releasing antibacterial and antibiofilm polyurethane catheter coating kills bacteria and prevents them from forming hard-to-eliminate biofilms.

Market Opportunity

Intravascular catheters are used for hemodynamic monitoring, renal replacement therapy, nutritional support, and administration of medications. CRBSIs, a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections worldwide, are costly complications of intravascular catheter use. The catheter lumen can be contaminated before use; the skin microbiome can contaminate the catheter tip and cutaneous tract during insertion; contaminated infusate can deliver bacteria; and inserted materials can be exposed to microbes due to existing infection.
Current antibacterial coatings tend to lose their effectiveness after two weeks at most, often because they release their drug payload too quickly. The coatings use traditional antibiotics, which raise concerns about antibiotic resistance over long-term use. In addition, the coating reagents are released from the catheter material quickly and do not prolong protection during the full course of implantation. Thus, there is a clinical need for an improved method of preventing CRBSIs.

Innovation and Meaningful Advantages

We have invented an auranofin-releasing antibacterial and antibiofilm polyurethane catheter coating. Auranofin is an antirheumatic drug with recently identified antimicrobial properties. The coating kills bacteria and prevents them from forming hard-to-eliminate biofilms. The polyurethane drug carrier surrounding the auranofin extends the period of drug-release to up to 28 days, improving its long-term antibacterial and antibiofilm effectiveness, and potentially how long the catheter can remain implanted. The coating is highly stretchable, which is important when used on a flexible catheter. Importantly, the coating also provides a method for treating catheter-related bloodstream infections, such as one resulting from previous catheter insertion.

Collaboration Opportunity

We are interested in exploring 1) startup opportunities with investors in the medical device space; 2) research collaborations with leading medical device companies; and 3) licensing opportunities with medical device companies.

Principal Investigator

Anita Shukla, PhD
Associate Professor of Engineering
Brown University

IP Information

US Utility US 2020-0297898 A1, Published September 4, 2020


Liu H, Shukla S, Vera-González N, et al. Auranofin Releasing Antibacterial and Antibiofilm Polyurethane Intravascular Catheter Coatings. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2019;9:37. Published 2019 Feb 28. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2019.00037



Melissa Simon, PhD
Director of Business Development
Brown Tech ID 2567J
Patent Information:
Drug Delivery
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Anita Shukla
Beth Fuchs
Eleftherios Mylonakis
Hanyang Liu
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