Harvard Team Develops Blood and Bacteria Repellent Coating Tech for Medical Devices

Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed blood and bacteria-repellent coating for medical devices. The team said it had recently received a nod of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The coating is being called the Tethered-Liquid-Perfluorocarbon (TLP).

The Institute’s founding director Professor Donald E. Ingber, who is also a senior author of the study, said that a TLP coating will cause unwanted materials to slide off the surface. This technology was inspired by a similar coating that was developed by the study’s co-author Joanna Aizenberg in 2011. The coating technology, which she called Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS), is capable of repelling most solids and liquids. However, TLP differs in that it has been designed specifically for the medical industry. The technology behind SLIPS was inspired by the carnivorous pitcher plant.

The government offered a grant to Ingber for the research and development of TLP – this also indicates that the government considers this technology to have immense potential.

According to Ingber, the military has also showed an interest in the treatment of blood infection without using a coagulant to cleanse bacteria. Backed by the government funding, the team was expected to show results at the earliest. The research solution was developed over a period of two to three years. The solution, according to the team, works “incredibly” in repelling bacteria.

According to the Wyss Institute’s entrepreneur in residence, Eric Devroe, technologies such as antifouling and anticoagulant have a key role to play in the medical devices industry of the future.
The Harvard team now plans to commercialize TLP.

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