Hypochlorous acid-generating electrochemical catheter prototype for prevention of intraluminal infection

Edison J. Cano, Laure Flurin, Abdelrhman Mohamed, Kerryl E. Greenwood-Quaintance, Yash S. Raval, Haluk Beyenal, Robin Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) contributes to mortality and cost. While aseptic dressings and antibiotic-impregnated catheters prevent some extraluminal infections, intraluminal infections remain a source of CLABSIs. In this proof-of-concept study, an electrochemical intravascular catheter (e-catheter) prototype capable of electrochemically generating hypochlorous acid intraluminally using platinum electrodes polarized at a constant potential of 1.5 electrode potential relative to saturated silver/silver chloride reference electrode measured in volts (VAg/AgCl) was developed. After 24 h of prepolarization at 1.5 VAg/AgCl, their activity was tested against clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Enterococcus faecium, and Escherichia coli derived from catheter-related infections. e-catheters generated a mean HOCl concentration of 15.86 ± 4.03 mM and had a mean pH of 6.14 ± 0.79. E-catheters prevented infections of all four species, with an average reduction of 8.41 ± 0.61 log10 CFU/ml at 48 h compared to controls. Polarized e-catheters which generate low amounts of HOCl continuously should be further developed to prevent intraluminal infection. IMPORTANCE Catheter-related infections constitute an economic and mortality burden in health care. Several options are available to reduce the risk of infection, but only a few focus on preventing intraluminal infection, which occurs in long-term catheters, most often used for dialysis, prolonged treatment, or chemotherapy. A prototype of a catheter called an “e-catheter” composed of three electrodes, capable of producing hypochlorous acid (HOCl) electrochemically in its lumen, was developed. When polarized at 1.5 V, chloride ions in the solution are oxidized to continuously produce low amounts of HOCl, which exhibits antibacterial activity in the lumen of the catheter. Here, this prototype was shown to be able to generate HOCl as well as prevent infection in a preliminary in vitro catheter model. This approach is a potential strategy for catheter infection prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00557-21
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Catheter-related bloodstream infection
  • Electrochemistry
  • Hypochlorous acid
  • Infection prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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