As the need for vascular access devices (VADs) continues to increase, so does the need for innovative designs and materials that can improve placement and optimize patient outcomes. Commercially available peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICCs) are in high demand due to their ease of use and low cost. However, they are constructed of materials that can contribute to vascular injury and result in complications such as clotting, catheter failure, and infection. This study investigated the surface and frictional properties of a HydroPICC® device constructed of a novel, inherently lubricious bulk hydrogel. Investigators posited that these materials would lower the forces required to advance and retract the HydroPICC® devices and that the measured forces are significantly lower than those of two commercially available PICCs made of conventional thermoplastic polyurethane. The HydroPICC® device had a lower insertion and retraction force compared to both the PowerPICCTM and BioFloTM control devices based on an unpaired, two-sided t-test (P < .001). The HydroPICC® also exhibited a statistically significant decrease in average force when compared to both conventional PICCs (P < .001 and P = .001). When compared to PowerPICCTM, the lubricious high-strength HydroPICC® hydrogel device exhibited an 84% ± 25% reduction in average tracking force; additionally, when compared to a fluoro-oligomer modified TPU catheter (BioFloTM), the HydroPICC® device exhibited a 90 ± 32% reduction in average tracking force. The HydroPICC® technology represents a new method to reduce frictional forces of implantable devices. Clinical trials are needed to determine whether the differences in frictional properties between conventional VADs and HydroPICC® devices translate into improved clinical outcomes.Reference:
LeRoy KJ, Donahue DT. Trackability of a high-strength thromboresistant hydrogel catheter: An In vitro analysis comparing venous catheter forces in a simulated use pathway. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2023 Jan 6;139:105670. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2023.105670. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36646006.