Author

Jordan Popov

Date of Award

2023

First Advisor

Jesse Robbins

Second Advisor

Mike Bergman

Abstract

In current medical treatments, the intravenous route of drug delivery through central line catheters is common for a wide range of diseases. This method directly connects external medical devices to major arteries and veins. However, this delivery method poses a significant risk to the patient due to the possibility of dangerous infections, which can be life-threatening. Therefore, the design and maintenance of drug delivery through long-term access points to patient bloodstreams need improvements to be safer. To address this problem, we propose an improved catheter dressing to better protect the catheter access point, especially for long-term catheter patients experiencing multiple regular dressing changes. Inspired by existing catheter dressings, and novel research on advanced antiseptic drug delivery methods, we created a multi-layered catheter dressing with an electrospun fiber mesh doped with the antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) and superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) reinforced by a silicone structural support. This dressing is covered with a transparent bandage to make it airtight. While electrospun meshes have not yet been used in commercial dressing products, they have been experimentally demonstrated to facilitate better cell attachment which increases bacterial interaction with CHG more than existing foams and gels. Integrating this with SAPs to wick away fluids exuded from the catheter entrance site, nanoCath catheter dressings have increased antiseptic efficacy as well as greater absorbent properties to keep the catheter entry site protected. In terms of design structure, this dressing will surround the catheter entrance site, which is made possible by a slit that can fit around the catheter tube. The silicone structural support will fit on top of the dressing and catheter and will decrease the jostling of the tube positioning during wear and dressing changes, thereby decreasing the risk of discomfort caused by the movement of the catheter tube. With nanoCath, intravenous access points will be better protected, and more infections will be prevented.

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