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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 921617, 12 pages
Research Article

An In Vivo Rabbit Model for the Evaluation of Antimicrobial Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter to Reduce Microbial Migration and Colonization as Compared to an Uncoated PICC

1Innovotech Inc., Suite 101, 2011 94th Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6N 1H1
2Research and Development Department, Teleflex Medical Incorporated, 2400 Bernville Road, Reading, PA 19605, USA
3Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2V2

Received 9 January 2012; Accepted 6 May 2012

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2012 Nicholas D. Allan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Infection is the leading complication associated with intravascular devices, and these infections develop when a catheter becomes colonized by microorganisms. To combat this issue, medical device manufacturers seek to provide healthcare facilities with antimicrobial medical devices to prevent or reduce the colonization. In order to adequately evaluate these devices, an in vivo model is required to accurately assess the performance of the antimicrobial devices in a clinical setting. The model presented herein was designed to provide a simulation of the subcutaneous tunnel environment to evaluate the ability of an antimicrobial peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), coated with chlorhexidine based technology, to reduce microbial migration and colonization compared to an uncoated PICC. Three samples of control, uncoated PICCs and three samples of coated PICCs were surgically tunneled into the backs of female New Zealand White rabbits. The insertion sites were then challenged with Staphylococcus aureus at the time of implantation. Animals were evaluated out to thirty days and sacrificed. Complete en bloc dissection and evaluation of the catheter and surrounding tissue demonstrated that the chlorhexidine coated catheter was able to significantly reduce microbial colonization and prevent microbial migration as compared to the standard, un-treated catheter.