A prototype catheter designed for ultraviolet C disinfection

Jimmy Bak, Tanja Begovic

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    Disinfection of the intraluminal space of single-lumen polymer tubes can be obtained by ultraviolet C (UVC) light exposure from an external light source. In existing catheters UVC disinfection is hampered by the design of the catheter hub and tube connector.

    To demonstrate that it is possible to design a single-lumen catheter with a hub, tube connector and tube parts that can be UVC-disinfected throughout its entire lumen.

    Two single-lumen catheters were designed: one control and one for UVC exposure. They were contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (104–105 cfu/mL) before UVC light exposure, sampling and plate counting.

    Two minutes of UVC exposure was sufficient to obtain 4 log10 disinfection for the full-length prototype catheter. This exposure corresponds to ∼40 mJ/cm2 at the catheter tip and indicates that even shorter exposure times can be achieved.

    It is possible to design catheters that can be disinfected throughout the entire lumen. UVC light exposure could be useful as a decontamination method for catheters in clinical use.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)173–177
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Catheter
    • Catheter hub
    • Catheter-related bloodstream infections
    • Germicidal
    • Intraluminal
    • Ultraviolet C
    • UVC disinfection


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