Problems and solutions of stent biofilm and encrustations: A review of literature

Turk J Urol. 2020 Nov;46(Supp. 1):S11-S18. doi: 10.5152/tud.2020.20408. Epub 2020 Oct 9.


A ureteral stent is a commonly implanted urological device in patients with urinary tract obstruction. The main role of these stents is to allow adequate drainage of urine from the kidney into the bladder. Individuals with strictures, tumors, or obstructions from urinary stones do not have adequate urine flow and require ureteral stents as a part of their treatment to avoid potential hydronephrosis and renal failure. Although ureteral stents are highly effective in treating urinary tract obstructions, they have associated morbidities, such as biofilm formation and encrustation. Researchers have studied about how to diminish these negative outcomes by developing novel stent materials. Different coatings and biomaterials have been developed to reduce bacterial adhesion and crystal deposition onto the stent surfaces. Moreover, new investigation technologies, such as microfluidic platforms and encrustation sensors, have been utilized to better study the stents. Biofilms and encrustations can stem from bacterial origins; therefore, understanding the urinary microbiome will also provide insight into the solutions for treating them. There are still some gaps in our knowledge regarding the exact underlying mechanisms of stent-associated biofilms and encrustation. Future studies should include continuous testing of novel stent biomaterials for safety and efficacy, developing new technologies for identifying and extracting biofilms, enriching the assessment of stent encrustation, and diving deeper into understanding the urinary microbiome.

Publication types

  • Review