Hey, fellow scientists! Today we have some amazing news about how a team of researchers is giving those pesky bacteria and viruses a good beating. They have created a super powerful material that effectively kills these microbes, including the evil MRSA and the fearsome SARS-COV-2! These resourceful scientists from the University of Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy took a disinfectant and antiseptic commonly used by dentists to treat oral infections and applied it to a polymer called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). And what happened? Bam! They discovered that this new material is an expert in killing the microbes responsible for a host of infections and diseases. It looks like it could make a great antimicrobial coating for many plastic products!
Now, we all know that plastics are everywhere in hospitals, from IV bags to beds to toilet seats (yes, even those). But the problem is that some bacteria can survive on these surfaces despite all cleaning efforts, increasing the risk that patients will catch it and then have to receive antibiotic treatments. Not a fun situation! But fear not, my brave readers, because these scientists have come to save the day. They decided to use the power of plastics to destroy bacteria! It’s like they have a super secret weapon! This new material not only kills bacteria in just 30 minutes (that’s fast!), but it also doesn’t leak or contaminate the environment. It’s like an invisible ninja, but antimicrobial!
These super-smart scientists used a special technique called time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) to study the material at the molecular level. And guess what? They confirmed that the material is antimicrobial! It gets rid of microbes fast and after 45 minutes surfaces are still spotless! And the most impressive thing is, it can eliminate those pesky bugs in just 30 minutes! The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on hospital-acquired infections, as 20% of patients with COVID-19 have been found to already be infected when they enter the hospital. What a problem! But they are sure to reduce that risk.
Contaminated surfaces, such as plastic surfaces, can act as hiding places for antimicrobial resistance genes, favoring the spread of drug resistance, even after thorough cleaning. That is why it is essential to develop new technologies to prevent the spread of dangerous microorganisms and face the growing threat of drug resistance.
So there you have it, my scientific friends! This research shows us a great way to fight bacteria and viruses, and it could be added to plastic materials during their manufacture! We might even have a spray that uses this stuff to fight those nasty microbes! It’s time to make it clear who’s in charge here!