Lessons from Sharks on reducing infections.

Interesting article in the Wall street journal health blog

The ocean is full of slow-swimming creatures covered with algae and barnacles. But some slow-swimming sharks stay pretty clean.

A University of Florida researcher thinks that has to do, at least in part, with the microscopic pattern of shark skin, which makes an inhospitable environment for the critters that want to make a home there.

The researcher, Anthony Brennan, hopes to make products whose surfaces mimic that property, and he’s working with a couple of Denver businessmen on a company called Sharklet Technologies. This morning’s Denver Post has a story on the business.

The company says it’s already figured out how to make silicone surfaces with a sharklike pattern that’s resistant to the growth of bacterial films. Sharklet hopes to sell the technology for use on things like catheters, a common source of hospital-acquired infections.

It’s early days still for the technology, and it’s unclear whether it will get off the ground…

Hope that this cool idea works out! Urinary tract infection following catheter insertion is certainly a frequent complication in hospitalized patients. The concept of preventing infection by disabling bacterial adhesion and migration (biofilm formation) is gaining grounds with few other materials being tried out.

(image from the Denver Post)

From the Denver Post via WSJ health blog.