A*STAR team de­signs nano-coat­ing to pre­vent AMR

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - SCIENCE NEWS -

A group of re­searchers from Singapore’s Agency for Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy and Re­search (A*STAR) has in­vented an anti-bac­te­rial nano-coat­ing that could help to pre­vent an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance (AMR). Stud­ies have shown that the wings of dragonflies and ci­cadas pre­vent bac­te­rial growth due to their nat­u­ral struc­ture. The sur­faces of their wings are cov­ered in nanopil­lars mak­ing them look like a bed of nails. When bac­te­ria come into con­tact with these sur­faces, their cell mem­branes get ripped apart im­me­di­ately and they are killed. In­spired by this nat­u­ral phe­nom­ena, the re­searchers grew nanopil­l­lars of zinc ox­ide on var­i­ous sur­faces. Tests on ce­ramic, glass, ti­ta­nium and zinc sur­faces showed that the coat­ing ef­fec­tively killed up to 99.9 per cent of germs such as Escherichia coli and Sta­phy­lo­coc­cus au­reus found on the sur­faces. The re­searchers also found that the nano-coat­ing demon­strated the best killing ac­tiv­ity when ap­plied on zinc sur­faces. This is be­cause the zinc ox­ide nanopil­lars cat­alyzed the re­lease of re­ac­tive oxy­gen species which could even kill nearby free-float­ing bac­te­ria that were not in di­rect con­tact with the sur­face.

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