Light-activated antibacterial coating is new weapon in fight against hospital-acquired infections

Mar 31, 2009

A new hard coating with antibacterial properties that has been tested by researchers at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute has been shown to kill 99.9% of Escherichia coli bacteria when a white hospital light was shone on its surface to activate it.

Miss Zoie Aiken and her colleagues presented the work at the Society for General Microbiology meeting in Harrogate today (Tuesday 31 March). The veneer-like surface is made of with added nitrogen. When it is activated by white light, similar to those used in hospital wards and operating theatres, it produced a decrease in the number of surviving on the test surface.

The hospital environment acts as a reservoir for the responsible for healthcare-associated infections (HCAI) and new ways of preventing the spread of these pathogens to patients are needed. Antibacterial coatings could be applied to frequently touched hospital surfaces to kill any bacteria present and help reduce the number of HCAI.

Titanium dioxide based coatings can kill bacteria after activation with UV light. The addition of nitrogen to these coatings enables photons available in visible light to be utilised to activate the surface and kill bacteria.

Commenting on the results, Miss Aiken said, "The activity of the will be assessed against a range of different bacteria such as MRSA and other organisms which are known to cause infections in hospitals. At present we only know that the coating is active against Escherichia coli. However, E. coli is more difficult to kill than bacteria from the group which includes MRSA, so the results to date are encouraging."

"The coating has currently been applied onto glass using a method called APCVD (atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition)," she continued. "We are also experimenting with different materials such as plastic. As an example, the coating could be applied to a plastic sheet that could be used to cover a computer keyboard on a hospital ward. The lights in the ward will keep the coating activated, which will in turn continue to kill any bacteria that may be transferred onto the keyboard from the hands of healthcare workers."

Source: Society for General Microbiology

Explore further: Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Can we 'wipe out' MRSA?

Jun 03, 2008

Three basic principles is all it could take to reduce the incidence of MRSA in hospitals according to a new research by Cardiff University.

Nanocoatings: A bathroom that cleans itself

Feb 07, 2006

Cleaning bathrooms may become a thing of the past with new coatings that will do the job for you. Researchers at the University of New South Wales are developing new coatings they hope will be used for self-cleaning ...

Anti-microbial 'paint' kills flu, bacteria

Dec 01, 2006

A new "antimicrobial paint" developed at MIT can kill influenza viruses that land on surfaces coated with it, potentially offering a new weapon in the battle against a disease that kills nearly 40,000 Americans ...

Edible food wrap kills deadly E. coli bacteria

Nov 16, 2006

Researchers have improved upon an edible coating for fresh fruits and vegetables by enabling it to kill deadly E. coli bacteria while also providing a flavor-boost to food. Composed of apple puree and oregano ...

Recommended for you

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

Apr 18, 2014

(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 ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

For resetting circadian rhythms, neural cooperation is key

Apr 17, 2014

Fruit flies are pretty predictable when it comes to scheduling their days, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk and rest times in between. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on April 17th h ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

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 ...