In this study, a series of phosphate-based glasses; (P2O5)50(Na2O)20(CaO)30-x (ZnO)x were prepared with increasing concentration of zinc oxide to determine the antimicrobial effect against clinically relevant microorganisms. The addition of 1 and 3 mol% zinc oxide decreased glass degradation however a higher dissolution rate was observed for 5 and 10 mol% ZnO. The antimicrobial results showed a concentration dependent effect on the viability of microorganisms. When in direct contact zinc doped glasses showed a complete kill, within 24 h, against Escherichia coli and a significant (p < 0.01) kill was observed against Staphylococcus aureus however the effect of dissolution products was not seen until 48 h. Furthermore, the cytotoxic studies showed no toxic effects on the viability of uroepithelial cells. This study has shown that zinc doped phosphate-based glasses can potentially be used to prevent/treat catheter associated urinary tract infections.
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Funding: Insight Health Ltd, UK and ARCHA (Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing).