Novel research into biofilms and urinary tract infections (UTI)

29 November 2023
Industry partnership between Whiteley Corporation and Sydney ID
This collaborative research agreement is being led by Dr Arthika Manoharan, an industry sponsored post-doc research fellow who is focused on biofilm formations in Catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

Dr Arthika Manoharan with Prof Slade Jensen, Western Sydney University and Dr Greg Whiteley, Whiteley Corporation

Catheter-associated UTIs are a major issue in hospitals and age-care facilities. Biofilm formation in catheters can often result in encrustation and catheter occlusion, with an increased risk of  severe disseminated infection (urosepsis). In her PhD research, Arthika investigated the novel effects of Amino Acid Based Sulph-hydryl (AABS) on biofilm formation and matrix disruption using an in vitro bladder model. She will further investigate the influence of AABS on host pathogen interactions, to fully characterise its value for biofilm prevention and removal.

Dr Greg Whiteley, Executive Chairman said “At Whiteley, through our collaborative research programs, we have had the privilege for many years of supporting PhD candidates in their research. We are so excited by the work that Arthika is doing that we look forward to many more years of collaboration as we investigate solutions for catheter-associated UTIs and other biofilm mediated infections".

We are excited to partner with Sydney ID to support Arthika’s ground-breaking research as she pioneers a whole new approach to the area of UTIs
Dr Greg Whiteley, Executive Chairman


The Director of Sydney ID Professor Ben Marais congratulated Arthika on her pioneering biofilm research and the strong industry support that she has been able to secure, saying "The industry sponsored post-doc model is designed to provide opportunities for promising ECRs to develop an independent competitively funded research trajectory, with strong industry partnership.  We hope to replicate this model and to expand our partnership with Whiteley Corporation in the coming years."

Dr Arthika Manoharan

Dr Arthika Manoharan recently completed her PhD in collaboration with Whiteley Corporation, under the supervision of Dr Theerthankar Das and A/Professor Jim Manos at the University of Sydney. Arthika’s research aims to tackle bacterial biofilm formation in recurrent and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs), exploring the use of antioxidants that are safe for topical use to disrupt biofilms and influence local host-pathogen interactions in the bladder. A microbiologist with extensive microbiology and immunology experience, Arthika is an enthusiastic early career researcher. Her research is motivated by her vision to work with clinicians and basic scientists to tackle the threat of recurrent and antibiotic resistant UTIs. She is also an avid advocate for early career researchers (ECRs) in the medical sciences, having served on various ECR committees, including the Australian Society for Microbiology. More recently Arthika presented her research findings at Whiteley’s Seminar series Program in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane, under the title ‘rethinking biofilm treatments in catheter associated urinary tract infections.’  

We are proud to partner with Whiteley Corporation as a leading Australian company in the area of disinfection and topical treatment.
Professor Ben Marais, Sydney ID