New anti-microbial surface inspired by dolphins
Thursday 30 December 2010
Announced earlier this month, researchers in Singapore are using nanotechnology to develop a new anti-bacterial surface inspired by the slick luminosity of dolphin skin.
Researchers from A*STAR's Industrial Consortium On Nanoimprint (ICON) are creating a synthetic, chemical-free, anti-bacterial surface that they hope will reduce infections caused by pathogens such as S. aureus and E. coli. While still in the works, the team hopes the new material could eventually be used in common plastics, medical devices, and even ship hulls. The company also produces implanted lenses for the eye, and this material could potentially be used to create new anti-bacterial lenses.
The group is using nanoimprint technology, a form of nanotechnology, to make complex nanometer-sized patterns on surfaces to mimic the texture of natural surfaces. Taking their inspiration from the anti-fouling properties of dolphin and whale skins, the team aims to engineer a material with similar properties, such as "luminescence, adhesiveness, water-proofing, and anti-reflectivity," stated the company.
Scientists at the University of New Mexico in the US are also working on a new type of antimicrobial surface that is inhospitable to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) but won't harm people or animals.
The scientists developed a new polymer-type material, "conjugated polyelectrolyte," that becomes sterilized in the presence of regular fluorescent light, and has been shown effective at killing resistant strains of Staph. This opens up many potential applications, including the possibility of using these polymers as antibacterial countertops, but more work is ahead before consumers will see the product available.
The world has seen a slew of antibacterial and antibiotic products on the market over the years - soaps, socks, cutting boards, children's toys, toilet seats - most made with agents triclosan and tributyletin. More recently, antimicrobial silver ions have been manufactured into everything from washing machines to deodorant to repel bacteria. However, health and environmental concerns linger over whether or not the widespread usage of antibacterial products is strengthening the resistance of superbugs such as MRSA.
Access A*STAR's website: http://www.a-star.edu.sg/
Life & Style blogs
The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
How to respond if someone tells you they've been sexually assaulted
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Amazon Prime - how to cancel: after Top Gear hiring, instructions on how to leave premium service
National Orgasm Day: Don't get caught up on climaxing
- 1 Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 2 Amazon Prime - how to cancel: after Top Gear hiring, instructions on how to leave premium service
- 3 Jeremy Clarkson’s Amazon Prime deal to reunite Top Gear trio thumbs nose at the BBC
- 4 Every club should be like Labour – you can’t join as a new member unless you’re already a member
- 5 1000 people played Foo Fighters simultaneously to try and get them to play their city
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a leading...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...
£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: This central London prima...
£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: A good primary school in ...