Use of in vitro and haptic assessments in the characterisation of surface lubricity

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Lubricity is a key property of hydrophilic-coated urinary catheter surfaces. In vitro tests are commonly employed for evaluation of surface properties in the development of novel catheter coating technologies, however, their value in predicting the more subjective feeling of lubricity requires validation. We herein perform a range of in vitro assessments and human organoleptic studies to characterise surface properties of developmental hydrophilic coating formulations, including water wettability, coefficient of friction, dry-out kinetics and lubricity. Significant reductions of up to 40% in the contact angles and coefficient of friction values of the novel coating formulations in comparison to the control poly(vinyl pyrrolidone)-coated surfaces were demonstrated during quantitative laboratory assessments. In contrast, no significant differences in the more subjective feeling of lubricity between the novel formulations and the control-coated surfaces were observed when formulations were haptically assessed by the techniques described herein. This study, importantly, highlights the need for optimisation of in vitro and human haptic assessments to more reliably predict patient preferences.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Early online date02 Feb 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 02 Feb 2018


  • In vitro characterisation, human haptic assessment, hydrophilic coatings, lubricity, friction

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