Attenuation of encrustation by self-assembled inorganic fullerene-like nanoparticles†
Ureteral stents and urethral catheters are commonly used medical devices for maintaining urinary flow. However, long-term placement (>30 days) of these devices in the urinary tracts is limited by the development of encrustation, a phenomenon that holds a prevalence of 50% within this patient population, resulting in a great deal of morbidity to the patients. Here we report the influence of surface coating of an all-silicone catheter with rhenium-doped fullerene-like molybdenum disulfide (Re:IF-MoS2) nanoparticles on the growth and attachment of in vitro encrustation stones. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analyses indicated a remarkable attenuation in encrustation occupation on the Re:IF-MoS2-coated catheter surfaces compared to neat catheters. The doped nanoparticles displayed a unique tendency to self-assemble into mosaic-like arrangements, modifying the surface to be encrustation-repellent. The mechanism of encrustation retardation on the surface coated catheters is discussed in some detail. The ramification of these results for the clogging of other body indwelling devices is briefly discussed.