Scientists evaluate different antimicrobial metals for use in water filters

May 24, 2012

Porous ceramic water filters are often coated with colloidal silver, which prevents the growth of microbes trapped in the micro- and nano-scale pores of the filter. Other metals such as copper and zinc have also been shown to exhibit anti-microbial activity.

Researchers from Princeton University in New Jersey used (AFM) measurements to study the adhesion interaction between Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria and colloidal silver, silver nanoparticles, and copper nanoparticles, as well as the interactions of the bacteria and the three different types of metal to porous clay-based ceramic surfaces.

As reported in the American Institute of Physics' (AIP) , of the three antimicrobial metals studied the silver nanoparticles had the highest affinity for E. coli bacteria. The colloidal silver had the highest affinity for a porous ceramic surface and is therefore the least likely to leach into the filtrate.

However, since the adhesion between colloidal silver and E. coli is in the same range as the adhesion between copper and the bacteria, copper may have potential as a less expensive disinfectant coating for ceramic water filters.

Explore further: Physicists create new nanoparticle for cancer therapy

More information: Adhesion of E. coli to Silver- or Copper-Coated Porous Clay Ceramic Surfaces, I. Yakub (1) and W.O. Soboyejo, Journal of Applied Physics.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Antimicrobials: Silver (and copper) bullets to kill bacteria

Nov 09, 2009

Dana Filoti of the University of New Hampshire will present thin films of silver and copper she has developed that can kill bacteria and may one day help to cut down on hospital infections. The antimicrobial properties of ...

Killer paper for next-generation food packaging

Jan 19, 2011

Scientists are reporting development and successful lab tests of "killer paper," a material intended for use as a new food packaging material that helps preserve foods by fighting the bacteria that cause spoilage. The paper, ...

Nanosilver: A new name -- well-known effects

Jan 31, 2011

Nanosilver is not a new discovery by nanotechnologists -- it has been used in various products for over a hundred years, as is shown by a new Empa study. The antimicrobial effects of minute silver particles, which were then ...

Recommended for you

Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

12 hours ago

A new nano-membrane made out of the 'super material' graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The ...

Wiring up carbon-based electronics

15 hours ago

Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Atomico
not rated yet May 26, 2012
Its no surprise this is what advocates for colloidal silver have been saying for decades, however there is a new type of colloidal silver, gold, copper and other metals that need to be tested. Colloidal Silver Atoms, the particle size is 250,000 times smaller than nanoparticles which render them more lethal to viruses and bacteria.

More news stories

Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

A new nano-membrane made out of the 'super material' graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The ...

Wiring up carbon-based electronics

Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...