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    Surface modification of platelet concentrate bags to reduce biofilm formation and transfusion sepsis

    Wilson-Nieuwenhuis, JST, Dempsey-Hibbert, N, Liauw, CM and Whitehead, KA (2017) Surface modification of platelet concentrate bags to reduce biofilm formation and transfusion sepsis. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 160. pp. 126-135. ISSN 0927-7765

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    Bacterial contamination of blood products poses a major risk in transfusion medicine, including transfusions involving platelet products. Although testing systems are in place for routine screening of platelet units, the formation of bacterial biofilms in such units may decrease the likelihood that bacteria will be detected. This work determined the surface properties of p-PVC platelet concentrate bags and investigated how these characteristics influenced biofilm formation. Serratia marcescens and Staphylococcus epidermidis, two species commonly implicated in platelet contamination, were used to study biofilm growth. The platelet concentrate bags were physically flattened to determine if reducing the surface roughness altered biofilm formation. The results demonstrated that the flattening process of the platelet bags affected the chemistry of the surface and reduced the surface hydrophobicity. Flattening of the surfaces resulted in a reduction in biofilm formation for both species after 5 days, with S. marcescens demonstrating a greater reduction. However, there was no significant difference between the smooth and flat surfaces following 7 days’ incubation for S. marcescens and no significant differences between any of the surfaces following 7 days’ incubation for S. epidermidis. The results suggest that flattening the p-PVC surfaces may limit potential biofilm 2 formation for the current duration of platelet storage time of 5 days. It is hoped that this work will enhance the understanding of how surface properties influence the development of microbial biofilms in platelet concentrate bags in order to devise a solution to discourage biofilm formation.

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