Self-Sterilizing Polymer to Reduce Healthcare-Acquired Infections can now be reduced thanks to self- sterilizing polymers

An interesting new nanostructured polymer has been developed by the researchers from North Carolina State University. Unique chemical modifications on the polymer give it the ability to kill many different strains of bacteria and viruses such as the E. coli, along with the “superbug” methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Apart from his, even on being exposed to bacteria many times, the polymer remains effective. The bacteria and viruses can be killed by the new nanostructured polymer within minutes. With over 25,000 Americans dying due to infections acquired in hospitals, a development as exciting as this can prove to be a boon in disinfecting surfaces aiding in reducing such infections.

The people handling the pre existing methods that are used to disinfect surfaces are directly under the risk of acquiring health problems by them. For instance bleach or hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet light and such methods can not only pose a threat to the people dealing with them but also to the very surface they are being used to disinfect.

In some methods, bacteria becomes resistant, for instance in case the surface is embedded with metals like copper, silver, gold or metal oxide nanoparticles which then contaminate the food chain by leaching into the environment. With the help of materials chemistry, this issue has now been addressed by the researchers from North Carolina State University.

With the help of materials chemistry, they have successfully developed a new auto- disinfecting surface. 99.9999 percent of bacteria were killed by the team’s formulation within five minutes, when they tested their system by exposing different bacteria to the surface. Their experiment also showed that the polymer’s potency remained high despite the many exposures to bacteria.

According to co- corresponding author of a paper on the work, Rick Spontak in order to create antimicrobial materials, they have been exploring a different approach during the course of which some intriguing behavior from this polymer which prompted them to study its potential deeply. In their in- depth study they found how promising it is as an alternative and also how wide is scope of applications is.

Chris Sokol

Consultant respiratory physician at DescriptionThe Perelman School of Medicine, commonly known as Penn Med, is the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States. Mail Me :

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