chapter  5
36 Pages

Album in Affinity Coatings May Prevent Foreign-Body Infections

A common complication related to the use of medical devices is infec­ tion [1-3]. These foreign-body infections can be promoted by the ability of microorganisms to adhere to medical device surfaces that contain adsorbed proteins, platelets, and/or thrombi [4-21]. When blood first contacts a medical device surface, a variety of plasma proteins adsorb onto the surface [22-28]. Some surface-adsorbed proteins can initiate fibrin formation and promote adherence and activation of platelets, resulting in thrombosis [29-32]. As a result, a number of attempts have been made to produce protein-resistant hydrophilic coatings. Likewise, heparin coatings have been developed to prevent device-associated thrombosis. However, the ability of hydrophilic and heparin coatings to act as substrates for a variety of adhesive proteins can hinder their ability to be anti-infective. Albumin-coated surfaces appear more prom­ ising than hydrophilic and heparin coatings. Albumin-coated surfaces have been shown to diminish both the occurrence of thrombosis and the adherence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms [2,8,12,14,19,24, 29,31,33-47]. But, albumin coatings can have limitations due to the dis­ placement of albumin by other proteins. However, coatings that possess a strong affinity for albumin, thereby preventing the displacement of

albumin by other proteins, may prove to be highly effective in prevent­ ing device-associated thrombosis and infection.