Long term urethral catheterization is a common management technique for urinary incontinence or urinary retention, and is universally complicated by bacterial infection. Complications of such infections include fevers, bacteremia, acute pyelonephritis, peri-urinary tract infections, urinary stones, chronic renal inflammation, renal failure, and even death. There are more than 900,000 episodes of catheter associated urinary tract infections in hospitals each year, accounting for more than 40 percent of all hospital-acquired infections, and defining it as the most common infection. Each patient who has a catheter in place for 30 days will have almost a 100 percent chance of developing bacteriuria. The mere insertion of the catheter through the urethra is reported to cause bacteremia in about eight percent of recipients. To date there is no proven prevention of bacteriuria in the long term catheterization [>30 days]. The focus of this research is to encourage the corrosion of certain metals in the vicinity of the catheter, releasing metal ions which are toxic to catheter associated bacteria.
Sullivan, L. L., Steinert, B. W., Wicks, D. M., & White, C. V. (1995). Biomaterials and corrosion: Applications for the reduction of catheter associated urinary tract infections. In ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings (Vol. 2, pp. 2168–2172). ASEE - American Society for Engineering Education.