Optimisation of a lozenge-based sensor for detecting impending blockage of urinary catheters

Rachel A. Heylen, Max Branson, Lauren Gwynne, Bethany L. Patenall, Nina Hauschildt, James Urie, June Mercer-Chalmers, Naing T. Thet, Maisem Laabei, A. Toby A. Jenkins

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Catheter-associated urinary tract infections resulting from urease-positive microorganisms are more likely to cause a urinary catheter blockage owing to the urease activity of the microbes. Catheter blockage can be dangerous and increases the risk of severe infections, such as sepsis. Ureases, a virulence factor in Proteus mirabilis, cause an increase in urine pH - leading to blockage. An optimised biosensor “lozenge” is presented here, which is able to detect impending catheter blockage. This lozenge has been optimised to allow easy manufacture and commercialisation. It functions as a sensor in a physiologically representative model of a catheterised urinary tract, providing 6.7 h warning prior to catheter blockage. The lozenge is stable in healthy human urine and can be sterilized for clinical use by ethylene oxide. Clinically, the lozenge will provide a visible indication of impending catheter blockage, enabling quicker clinical intervention and thus reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with blockage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113775
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Early online date11 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Diagnostics
  • Dye-release
  • Lozenge
  • P. mirabilis
  • pH-sensitive polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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