little over two years ago, MIT researchers found that changing the
stiffness of a surface by applying a thin
film of polyelectrolyte helped to inhibit the growth of
several infectious bacteria such as E.
coli and S.
The aim of the research was to help reduce hospital infections caused
during or after surgeries or by other modes of infection.
in a similar vein of research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
researchers have developed
a new nanocomposite that kills the dangerous bacteria S.
contact. Staph infections are at the top end of hospital infections
and this promising material could help further reduce the number of
patients that come under their sometimes deadly purview.
new material is composed of carbon nanotubes and a naturally
occurring enzyme called lysostaphin. Lysostaphin is an enzyme
produced by non-pathogenic strains of Staphylococcus to
combat against the deadly S. aureus. The material can be
mixed with many types of surface coatings or applied directly to
surgical instruments or other hospital gear such as masks.
a test, RPI researchers mixed a batch of the new nanoparticles with
ordinary latex house paint. When they applied a solution of S.
aureus to a surface painted with the mixture, in only 20
minutes, 100% of the S. aureus bacteria had been
only is the nanoparticle completely effective, it is highly durable
with a comparatively long shelf life of six months. Items coated with
nanoparticles or with a paint mixture can be washed repeatedly with
no detrimental effects to the abilities of the nanoparticles to