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Hospital-acquired infections are costly occurrences that cause patients physical discomfort, have dangerous immune consequences, and cost healthcare providers hundreds of millions of dollars every year in liability fees and negligence charges. Catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) are the most common class of hospital-acquired infection, affecting over half a million patients in U.S. hospitals alone every year.The CAUTI-Guard team has designed a silver-coated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) plug device that helps prevent CAUTI through its action as a physical and chemical block. The device slides along standard urinary catheters and helps block the migration of infectious material into the urethra and subsequently the bladder. Currently, adequate solutions exist to reduce the risk of CAUTI in male patients, but no suitable technologies exist for female patients. CAUTIGuard is specifically designed to prevent CAUTI in female patients by blocking the entry of infectious material into the urinary tract at the macro- and micro-scale. Both a 3D printed hard prototype, PDMS soft prototype, and a PDMS silver coated soft prototype have been produced for testing purposes. Proof-of-concept testing has demonstrated our design’s efficacy in blocking the macro-scale entry of infectious material. Bacterial assays and quantification of antimicrobial properties are ongoing to demonstrate efficacy at the micro-scale.

Publication Date



biomedical engineering, CAUTI, catheter attachment, hospitalacquired infections, prevention


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Ning Zhang

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Catheter Attachment Device for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infection