Thursday, 1 May 2014

New antimicrobial surfaces

A new antibacterial material that has potential for cutting hospital acquired infections has been developed by scientists. The combination of two simple dyes with nanoscopic particles of gold is deadly to bacteria when activated by light -- even under modest indoor lighting. And in a first for this type of substance, it also shows impressive antibacterial properties in total darkness.

The team, tested several different combinations of the dyes crystal violet (already used to treat staph infections), methylene blue and nanogold, deposited on the surface of silicone. This flexible rubbery substance is widely used as a sealant, a coating and to build medical apparatus such as tubes, catheters and gaskets, and can also be used as protective casings for things like keyboards and telephones.

For further details, see:

Sacha Noimark, Elaine Allan, Ivan P Parkin. Light-Activated Antimicrobial Surfaces With Enhanced Efficacy Induced by a Dark-Activated Mechanism. Chemical Science, 2014; DOI: 10.1039/C3SC53186D

Posted by Tim Sandle