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Color changing catheter

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Urinary catheter system that changes the color of urine in response to excess protein or pathogenic bacteria.

Design Award

  • Tong Biomedical Design Award Winner

Project Overview

Catheters are commonly used in hospitals primarily for urine drainage after surgery, as well as to treat urinary incontinence. Among hospitalized patients, 15-25% receive catheters during their stay at the hospital. However, these devices are notoriously prone to infection. Infection is the largest concern with catheter use, whether long-term or short-term.

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, abbreviated to CAUTIs, are the most commonly faced hospital-acquired infections. CAUTIs are attributed to prolonged use and the use of non-ideal materials in the creation of the catheters. CAUTI is caused when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the catheter and can lead to increased morbidity, mortality, healthcare costs, and length of stay in the hospital. Many symptoms that are reported by patients are not helpful in determining if the patient has a urinary tract infection.

Our client has requested the development of a urinary catheter system in which chemicals adhered to the inner surface of the catheter detect the presence of pathogenic bacteria or excess protein. The chemicals within the catheter would then change the urine color, notifying medical staff of possible infection without the need for constant lab testing.

Team Pictures

Left to Right: Ryan Anderson, Elizabeth Liu, Megan Bowers, Cade Van Horn
Left to Right: Ryan Anderson, Elizabeth Liu, Megan Bowers, Cade Van Horn
Left to Right: Ryan Anderson, Megan Bowers, Elizabeth Liu, Cade Van Horn
Left to Right: Ryan Anderson, Megan Bowers, Elizabeth Liu, Cade Van Horn

Contact Information

Team Members

  • Ryan Anderson, BME 402 - Team Leader
  • Megan Bowers, BME 402 - Communicator & BSAC
  • Elizabeth Liu, BME 402 - BWIG
  • Cade Van Horn, BME 402 - BPAG

Advisor and Client

  • Dr. Tracy Jane Puccinelli - Advisor
  • Ms. Lisa Miller - Client

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