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A nanometer scale image of RPI's new carbon nanotube and lysostaphin-based anti-Staphylococcus aureus coating.  (Source: Rensselaer/Ravindra C.Pangule and Shyam Sundhar Bale)
New cyborg nanoparticle comes to the aid of the war on infections.

A 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. epidermidis. The aim of the research was to help reduce hospital infections caused during or after surgeries or by other modes of infection.

Now, in a similar vein of research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed a new nanocomposite that kills the dangerous bacteria S. aureus on 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.

The 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.

In 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 killed.

Not 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 destroy S. aureusbacteria.



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RE: Almost..
By DoeBoy on 8/17/2010 5:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
maybe we should just have everything held in a vacuum including the room. Anything to help a hospital deal with the spread of infection is important. I suppose more cleaning chemicals could do the job but prevention is probably the best way to go with all the money the hospitals will not be getting because of cuts in medicare


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