'Killer stainless steel': New process

May 31, 2012
'Killer stainless steel': New process

(Phys.org) -- Stainless steel is the icon of cleanliness for home and commercial kitchens, restaurants, hospitals and other settings, but it can collect disease-causing bacteria like other surfaces if not cleaned often. Scientists now are reporting discovery, in the ACS journal Langmuir, of a practical way to make stainless steel that disinfects itself.

Christophe Detrembleur and colleagues explain that while stainless steel is prized for its , resistance to and ease of cleaning, it readily collects bacteria over time. The bacteria can form invisible colonies or – collections of colonies bound tightly to a surface – that spread disease. Existing ways of making stainless steel with an antibacterial surface are complicated, expensive and require the use of potentially toxic chemical substances. The authors sought an easier, “greener” way to make an antibacterial coating for stainless steel.

They describe development of a process for giving stainless steel a coating that killed all E. coli bacteria present within two hours in laboratory tests. It involves applying a layer of a bio-inspired adhesive to the steel, then four alternating layers of a negatively-charged polymer and positively-charged polymer micelles containing silver-based particles, which are highly bactericidal. The process takes only 10 minutes and uses water instead of potentially toxic substances. “This novel water-based approach is convenient, simple and attractive for industrial applications,” the researchers say.

Explore further: Researcher develops novel wastewater treatment fabric

More information: Antibacterial Polyelectrolyte Micelles for Coating Stainless Steel, Langmuir, 2012, 28 (18), pp 7233–7241. DOI: 10.1021/la3003965

Abstract
In this study, we report on the original synthesis and characterization of novel antimicrobial coatings for stainless steel by alternating the deposition of aqueous solutions of positively charged polyelectrolyte micelles doped with silver-based nanoparticles with a polyanion. The micelles are formed by electrostatic interaction between two oppositely charged polymers: a polycation bearing 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine units (DOPA, a major component of natural adhesives) and a polyanion (poly(styrene sulfonate), PSS) without using any block copolymer. DOPA units are exploited for their well-known ability to anchor to stainless steel and to form and stabilize biocidal silver nanoparticles (Ag0). The chlorine counteranion of the polycation forms and stabilizes biocidal silver chloride nanoparticles (AgCl). We demonstrate that two layers of micelles (alternated by PSS) doped with silver particles are enough to impart to the surface strong antibacterial activity against gram-negative E. coli. Moreover, micelles that are reservoirs of biocidal Ag+ can be easily reactivated after depletion. This novel water-based approach is convenient, simple, and attractive for industrial applications.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Antibacterial stainless steel created

Jul 19, 2011

Materials scientists at the University of Birmingham have devised a way of making stainless steel surfaces resistant to bacteria in a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council which culminated ...

Recommended for you

A greener source of polyester—cork trees

Apr 16, 2014

On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you'd be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester (not at all) and cork (very). In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out ...

A beautiful, peculiar molecule

Apr 16, 2014

"Carbon is peculiar," said Nobel laureate Sir Harold Kroto. "More peculiar than you think." He was speaking to a standing-room-only audience that filled the Raytheon Amphitheater on Monday afternoon for the ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Moebius
not rated yet May 31, 2012
If we wanted paint on our stainless steel we wouldn't buy stainless steel.
Origin
not rated yet Jun 01, 2012
Is this stainless steel odor remover supposed to work? This silly gadget is claimed to remove smell from hands when rubbed under running water.

More news stories

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...