Northern Ireland

Queen's scientists develop catheter coating

Uroglide is a new coating that aims to make insertion easier, less painful and with reduced risk of inflammation or infection Image copyright other
Image caption Uroglide is a new coating that aims to make insertion easier, less painful and with reduced risk of inflammation or infection

A new coating that could improve the lives of those who use catheters has been developed by scientists at Queen's University.

Uroglide is a new coating that aims to make insertion easier, less painful and with reduced risk of inflammation or infection.

The product recently won a national award.

Around 26,000 people in the UK insert or remove disposable catheters between four and eight times a day.

They are classed as intermittent users.

Queen's said the product was aimed at the global healthcare market, including the USA's estimated 300,000 intermittent catheter users,

Uroglide-coated catheters are currently undergoing independent testing and could be available both on the NHS and privately by next year.

The product was developed by Prof Colin McCoy, from Queen's University's School of Pharmacy, and Dr Nicola Irwin, the key scientist for the project.

Prof McCoy said: "Regular insertion of poorly lubricated catheters, however, is painful and can lead to difficult-to-treat urethral complications, such as damage, bleeding and inflammation.

'Painful'

Image copyright other
Image caption Dr Nicola Irwin is the key scientist for the project

"The coatings that are currently used dry out quickly and they've changed very little in over a decade.

"With our team at Queen's and support from Invest Northern Ireland, we developed a new coating that's cheaper than the industry standard, yet stays wet for longer, is more slippery, and adheres strongly to the catheter."

Prof McCoy said the new product should improve the patient's experience and make a "life-changing difference" to their dignity and health.

Dr Irwin said: "Our technology has already been externally validated by a team of world-renowned entrepreneurs and provides a key example of how Queen's research is being exported from the laboratory to the global marketplace and making an impact on society.