Physical and biological effects of a surface coating procedure on polyurethane catheters

Biomaterials. 1996 Apr;17(7):667-78. doi: 10.1016/0142-9612(96)86736-6.


Central venous catheters are widely used in clinical practice; however, complications such as venous thrombosis or infection are frequent. The physical and biological effects of a coating procedure designed to improve the blood-contacting properties of polyurethane central venous catheters (CVCs) were studied. The surface atomic composition of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP)-coated or uncoated Pellethane single lumen CVCs was characterized by electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), which confirmed the presence of an oxygen-rich PVP layer on the former material. Topological analysis of both single and triple lumen CVCs by scanning force microscopy (SFM) revealed a very smooth surface in PVP-coated catheters compared to the more frequent surface irregularities found either in uncoated Pellethane or in four additional randomly selected, commercially available triple lumen polyurethane CVCs. The PVP-coated Pellethane showed a strong reduction in either fibrinogen or fibronectin adsorption compared to all other PVP-free polyurethane CVCs. This decreased protein adsorption led to a proportional reduction in protein-mediated adhesion of either Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus epidermidis and in the binding of a monoclonal antibody directed against the cell-binding domain of fibronectin. Increased surface smoothness and hydrophilic properties of polyurethane CVCs might decrease the risk of bacterial colonization and infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Catheterization / standards*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / standards*
  • Electron Probe Microanalysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fibronectins / immunology
  • Fibronectins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Polyurethanes / chemistry*
  • Povidone / chemistry*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / metabolism
  • Surface Properties


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Fibronectins
  • Polyurethanes
  • Povidone