Microbiology

Coatings join the fight against bacteria

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Science  06 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6397, pp. 39
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6397.39-a

A coating inspired by shark skin can reduce the spread of bacteria from surfaces.

CREDIT: GOLFX/ISTOCKPHOTO

Efforts to combat the spread of infections, especially in health care settings, mostly involve the use of antibacterial cleaning agents and antibiotic drugs. Another possible strategy is the use of coatings that are antibacterial (inactivating bacteria) or antifouling (preventing the build-up of bacteria) on surfaces such as doorknobs. Arisoy et al. report the development of such a coating with a structure inspired by shark skin. Bacterial attachment is reduced by 70% on the micropatterned, photocatalytic coating, compared with smooth films of the same composition. Most of the bacteria that do settle on the coating are inactivated when the coating is exposed to ultraviolet light. Because the coatings are imprinted onto a flexible substrate, it should be possible to use them in practical applications.

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 10, 20055 (2018).

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