Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.



Committee Chair

Gobin, Andrea Samantha


Nosocomial infections; Catheterization--Complications; Drug resistance in microorganisms


Catheters represent an essential part of the management of critically and chronically ill patients. However, their use is often plagued by catheter related blood stream infections (CRBSIs), which are associated with increased morbidity, hospital stay and medical costs. Treatment for CRBSIs is often difficult due to the microorganism’s development of resistance to the drug being used. Development of the resistance has been directly correlated with the formation of biofilms, caused when bacteria adhere to the surface of the catheters in community-like complexes. In order, to overcome antibiotic resistance, chitosan nanoparticles encapsulating a biofilm degrading enzyme, ß-N-Acetylglucosaminidase (NAGase) were fabricated through an ionic gelation method. Chitosan nanoparticle parameters; including, size, zeta potential, morphological characteristics, swelling properties, encapsulation efficiencies and release profiles were optimized for use as a biofilm degrading enzyme carrier. We hypothesize that sustained release of NAGase for biofilm degradation can reduce the formation of biofilms and increase the effectiveness of antibiotics to aid in reducing CRBSIs.