Methods to Regulate Biofilm Development to Prevent Infection on Indwelling or Implantable Medical Devices

Formation of biofilms (microorganisms) on medical devices is a common cause of infection and device replacement. For example, biofilm formation on urinary catheters is associated with the development of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), and recent studies indicate that approximately 9% of HAIs stem from CAUTI. Urinary catheters are also thought to be one of the largest reservoirs of nosocomial antibiotic-resistant pathogens. The related increases in patient morbidity, mortality, and costs with CAUTI are substantial.

CDC and partner researchers have designed methods for controlled attachment of bioactive bacteriophages to medical devices for reducing bacterial colonization and regulating biofilm development. With collaborators at the Georgia Institute of Technology, CDC has developed and patented a novel approach to covalently attach bacteriophages to hydrogel-coated catheters. These tethered bacteriophages can reduce bacterial attachment and biofilm formation on the catheter surface. Additional formulations could be developed for a range of other indwelling or implanted medical devices such as stents, shunts, feeding tubes, and artificial joints and maximal impact on infections could be achieved using a diverse cocktail of relatively broad host-ranged phages.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Reduction of biofilm formation and microbial colonization on indwelling and implanted medical devices
  • Natural, specific, infection-responsive approach
  • Effective against multi-drug resistant bacteria
  • Flexible technology applicable to various coatings/devices & phage strains or mixtures
  • Localization/retention of bioactive phage to device


Rodney Donlan (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Susan Lehman

Andres Garcia

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 9,457,132 issued 2016-10-04
PCT Application No. PCT/US2012/044707
US Application No. 14/119,716
Also Included, Canadian Patent 2,837,731

Lehman SM, Donlan RM. PMID: 25487795
Donlan RM. PMID: 24795474
Donlan RM. PMID: 19162482
Curtin JJ, Donlan RM. PMID: 16569839
Goeres, DM et al. PMID: 15758222
Donlan RM. PMID: 11565080
Donlan RM. PMID: 11294723
Fu W, et al. PMID 19822702

Collaboration Opportunity:

The CDC Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize: Methods to regulate biofilm development to prevent infection on indwelling or implantable medical devices. For collaboration opportunities, please contact CDC TTO at or 1-404-639-1330.

Licensing Contact:
Jeremiah Mitzelfelt,
Phone: 301-443-8518

OTT Reference No: E-171-2013-0
Updated: Oct 22, 2018