Emerging medical and engineering strategies for the prevention of long-term indwelling catheter blockage

Scarlet Milo, Jonathan Nzakizwanayo, Hollie J Hathaway, Brian V Jones, A Toby A Jenkins

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Urinary catheters have been used on an intermittent or indwelling basis for centuries, in order to relieve urinary retention and incontinence. Nevertheless, the use of urinary catheters in the clinical setting is fraught with complication, the most common of which is the development of nosocomial urinary tract infections, known as catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Infections of this nature are not only significant owing to their high incidence rate and subsequent economic burden but also to the severe medical consecutions that result. A range of techniques have been employed in recent years, utilising various technologies in attempts to counteract the perilous medical cascade following catheter blockage. This review will focus on the current advancement (within the last 10 years) in prevention of encrustation and blockage of long-term indwelling catheters both from engineering and medical perspectives, with particular emphasis on the importance of stimuli-responsive systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-83
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H - Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date28 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Catheters, Indwelling/adverse effects
  • Engineering/methods
  • Equipment Failure
  • Humans
  • Urinary Catheters


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