Technology 3 min read

Researchers Create the Ultimate Self-Cleaning Surface

McMaster University researchers developed a self-cleaning surface that could allegedly repel even the most drug-resistant bacteria.

Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

Scientists have developed the ultimate self-cleaning surface. Along with keeping dust at bay, the coating also prevents the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

One of the most significant risks of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection comes from staying in healthcare facilities. Since hospitals provide easy access to antibiotics, the facility has more resistant germs.

Knowing that resistant bacteria can spread where your loved ones are undergoing treatment can be scary. However, best practices from health professionals have managed to curb the spread of these germs.

These include wearing gowns and gloves, cleaning their hands, and thoroughly cleaning medical equipment and patient care areas.

Now a team of researchers from McMaster University has developed a self-cleaning surface that repels even the deadliest superbug.

The new plastic surface is a treated form of a conventional transparent wrap. That means users can shrink-wrap it onto their railings, door handles, IV stands in hospitals and other surfaces that attract bacteria.

Aside from its application in hospital-setting, the self-cleaning surface is also perfect for food packaging. It could prevent the accidental spread of superbugs like Salmonella, E.Coli, and Listeria from meat, chicken, and other foods.

So, how does it work?

Developing Self-Cleaning Surface To Fight Bacteria

Inspired by the water-repellant lotus leaf, the researchers created a surface that combines nanoscale surface engineering and chemistry.

They textured the surface with microscopic wrinkles to exclude all external molecules. That way, a drop of blood or water that lands on the surface will bounce away. It works the same way for bacteria too.

Also, the McMaster University team treated the surface with chemicals to further enhance its repellant properties. This resulted in a barrier that’s not only flexible and durable but also inexpensive to reproduce.

Speaking about their invention, one of the lead engineers, Tohid Didar, said:

“We can see this technology being used in all kinds of institutional and domestic settings. As the world confronts the crisis of anti-microbial resistance, we hope it will become an important part of the anti-bacterial toolbox.”

The researchers collaborated with Eric Brown of McMaster’s Institute for Infectious Disease Research to test the self-cleaning surface. In their assessment, they used two of the most troubling form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria: MRSA and Pseudomonas.

Another Engineer, Kathryn Grandfield, confirmed the effectiveness of the invention. Using electron microscope images, Grandfield showed that virtually no bacteria could transfer to the surface.

The researchers are now looking to develop commercial applications for the wrap.

Read More: Researchers Create New Strains of Bacteria To Find Landmines

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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