Am J Perinatol 2021; 38(06): 560-566
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1700542
Original Article

Novel Neonatal Umbilical Catheter Protection and Stabilization Device in In vitro Model of Catheterized Human Umbilical Cords: Effect of Material and Venting on Bacterial Colonization

1   Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
2   Division of Pediatric Surgery, Stanford Children's Health, Palo Alto, California
Janene H. Fuerch
3   Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford Children's Health, Palo Alto, California
Carl L. Dambkowski
1   Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
Eric F. Chehab
4   Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Shivani Torres
4   Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Joseph D. Shih
5   Department of Biology, William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri
Ross Venook
4   Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California
James K. Wall
1   Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
2   Division of Pediatric Surgery, Stanford Children's Health, Palo Alto, California
4   Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California
› Author Affiliations
Funding This project was generously supported by the Stanford-Coulter Translational Medicine Grant and Stanford School of Medicine MedScholars.


Objective Umbilical central lines deliver life-saving medications and nutrition for neonates; however, complications associated with umbilical catheters (UCs) occur more frequently than in adults with central lines (i.e., line migration, systemic infection). We have developed a device for neonatal UC protection and stabilization to reduce catheter exposure to bacteria compared with the standard of care: “goal post” tape configuration. This study analyzes the effect of device venting and material on bacterial load of human umbilical cords in vitro.

Study Design Catheters were inserted into human umbilical cord segments in vitro, secured with plastic or silicone vented prototype versus tape, and levels of bacterial colonization were compared between groups after 7 days of incubation.

Results Nonvented plastic prototype showed increased bacterial load compared with goal post (p = 0.04). Colonization was comparable between the goal post and all vented plastic prototypes (p ≥ 0.30) and when compared with the vented silicone device (p = 1).

Conclusion A novel silicone device does not increase external bacterial colonization compared with the current standard of care for line securement, and may provide a safe, convenient alternative to standard adhesive tape for UC stabilization. Future studies are anticipated to establish safety in vivo, alongside benefits such as migration and infection reduction.

Publication History

Received: 24 June 2019

Accepted: 18 September 2019

Article published online:
18 November 2019

© 2019. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
333 Seventh Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001, USA

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