The Erlanger silver catheter consists of a new form of polyurethane, which contains finely dispersed metallic silver. The aim of this study was to establish the biocompatibility of this intravenous catheter by investigating the acute cytotoxicity of extracts from the Erlanger silver catheter on human fibroblasts and lymphocytes. Extracts of the Erlanger silver catheter were not cytotoxic for MRC-5 human fibroblasts nor for sensitized phytohem-agglutinin (PHA)-stimulated human lymphocytes. The addition of silver powder of up to 2% by weight to the basic catheter polyurethane TecothaneTM led to no increase in acute cytotoxicity in comparison with untreated TecothaneTM. The Erlanger silver catheter is a new intravenous catheter with good biocompatibility.
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