NUS Enterprise

Surface Modification of Silicone with Covalently Immobilized and Crosslinked Agarose to Inhibit Infection and Omental Wrapping

Technology #13196n

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Prof. Koon Gee Neoh
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Dr He Cairan (
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Tech Offer 13196n AG-HEP Coating [PDF]

Surface Modification of Silicone with Covalently Immobilized and Crosslinked Agarose to Inhibit Infection and Omental Wrapping


  • Peritoneal dialysis; antifouling, antibacterial and hemo-compatible coating for catheters


  • Patent pending


  • Exclusive/ non-exclusive licensing Partnership in commercial development


ILO Ref: 13196N

Dr Cairan He ( Industry Liaison Office, NUS Enterprise

Inventor: Prof. Koon Gee Neoh


  • Huge peritoneal dialysis market and beyond
  • FDA approved natural material (Agarose) and Heparin
  • Antibacterial effect increase by more than 100 times

Technology Overview

In peritoneal dialysis (PD), the catheter, usually made of silicone, has been considered as the “lifeline” of the patient. However, PD catheter also serves as a nidus for bacterial infection. Furthermore, complications can result from fibrin deposition and omental wrapping of the catheter which obstructs the dialysate flow. In

this work, a crosslinked agarose (AG) polymer layer was covalently grafted as a micron scale coating on silicone surface. This coating reduced Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation by more than 2 orders of magnitude. In addition, cell and platelet adhesion and protein adsorption was also reduced by ≥ 90%. Without compromising the antibacterial and antifouling property, further improvement in hemocompatibility, as shown by the inhibition of platelet adhesion and activation, prolonged plasma recalcification time and lower hemolysis degree, was achieved by co-immobilization of

2.6 µg/cm2 of heparin (HEP) in the agarose coating. The AG-HEP coatings are not cytotoxic to mammalian cells, and are stable for extended periods in lysozyme aqueous solution and under autoclaving at 121 °C for 20 min.

Technology Features

The crosslinked AG coating of ~2 µm thickness is stable and maintains its antibacterial efficacy after 30 days aging in lysozyme solution and also after autoclaving. In addition, the AG coating can effectively resist non-specific protein adsorption and fibroblast and platelet adhesion. Co- immobilization of 2.6 µg/cm2 of HEP in the AG coating further improves hemocompatibility by inhibiting platelet activation, prolonging PRT and reducing the degree of hemolysis.

Concomitantly, the antibacterial and antifouling efficacy of AG is retained. The favorable antibacterial, antifouling and improved hemocompatible properties as well as non- cytotoxicity of the modified silicone offer promising opportunities for combating infection and omental wrapping of PD catheters.



Development Status

  • The coating process has been demonstrated successfully and is readily converted for scale up industrial use.
  • Data is available for demonstration to interested parties.

About the Inventors

Professor Koon Gee Neoh is a professor at Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering National University of Singapore. She has received numerous prestigious awards and honors including Editorial Advisory Board for Langmuir and National Science Award (1996) etc.

Figure 1 Schematic illustration of the modification of silicone surface via oxygen plasma or ozone treatment (Step (1)), and UV or heat-induced immobilization and crosslinking of acrylated AG and methacrylated HEP (Step (2)).