Chlorhexidine sustained-release varnishes for catheter coating – Dissolution kinetics and antibiofilm properties
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections are difficult to eradicate or prevent, due to their biofilm-related nature. Chlorhexidine, a widely used antiseptic, was previously found to be effective against catheter-related biofilms. For the present study, we developed sustained-release chlorhexidine varnishes for catheter coating and evaluated their antibiofilm properties and chlorhexidine-dissolution kinetics under various conditions. The varnishes were based on ethylcellulose or ammonio methacrylate copolymer type A (Eudragit® RL). Chlorhexidine was released by diffusion from a heterogeneous matrix in the case of the ethylcellulose-based formulation, and from a homogeneous matrix in the case of Eudragit® RL. This dictated the release pattern of chlorhexidine under testing conditions: from film specimens, and from coated catheters in a static or flow-through system. Momentary saturation was observed with the flow-through system in Eudragit® RL-based coatings, an effect that might be present in vivo with other formulations as well. The coatings were retained on the catheters for at least 2 weeks, and showed prolonged activity in a biological medium, including an antibiofilm effect against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The current study demonstrates the potential of catheter coatings with sustained release of chlorhexidine in the prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.