Novel Polymer Coatings for Prevention of Biofilms in Dental Unit Waterlines
Small Business Information
NERITES CORPORATION, 525 SCIENCE DR., MADISON, WI, 53719
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Copious amounts of water are used for rinsing and cooling purposes in restorative and surgical Dental procedures. Bacterial fouling due to biofilm formation in the Dental unit waterlines that deliver this water is a per sistent problem in clinical Dentistry and Dental surgery. Biofilm formation starts within minutes when soluble proteins and other macromolecules from the water non-specifically adsorb to the insides of the water lines. These macromolecules provide an ancho r for bacteria, which recruit other bacteria. Eventually a colony of multiple bacteria, protected by a slime layer of secreted exopolymers, develops. While the risk of bacterial infection is slight in most healthy patients, those patients with compromise d immune systems due to disease or drug therapy are at elevated risk. Additionally, Dental healthcare professionals are subjected to chronic exposure to contaminated water and aerosols generated from the Dental unit. Existing approaches to combat bacterial contamination and biofilm formation are typically ineffective in reducing bacterial counts to levels recommended by the American Dental Association. Finally, the majority of the existing approaches rely on healthcare workers to adhere to specific maintena nce schedules that, if not followed, render the approaches largely ineffective. New approaches to Dental waterline antifouling that would significantly reduce or eliminate the need for routine decontamination maintenance are of great interest to the Dental healthcare community. Surface coatings which repel bacterial attachment and biofilm formation on Dental waterlines would significantly reduce these health risks. If bacteria cannot attach to the surfaces of Dental waterlines, they will not be able to form biofilms to allow them to reproduce in large numbers and contaminate the water supply. Our Phase I research has firmly demonstrated feasibility for this type of approach. Development of these bacteria-resistant coatings will continue in Phase II with the refinement and optimization of the coating process. We will determine the biocompatibility and long-term efficacy of the coatings. Finally, we will assess the compatibility of these new coatings with existing DUWL treatments, and will explore potential rou tines for coating renewal. Copious amounts of water are used for rinsing and cooling purposes in restorative and surgical Dental procedures. Bacterial contamination of these water supplies is a chronic and serious problem. Coatings for waterlines that are designed to prevent bacterial growth would largely prevent this problem, reducing health-related risks to both patients and Dental care workers.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.