New Surface Treatment May Reduce Spread of Infections

Sep, 2020 - By SMI

New Surface Treatment May Reduce Spread of Infections

These kinds of antibacterial and antiviral surface treatments could help curb the spread of deadly viruses such as the novel coronavirus.

If there is one place where people do not want harmful bacteria or viruses that is hospitals, where individuals are most vulnerable. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic) has led to a growing demand for antimicrobial treatments that can be used to clean the surfaces, especially in hospitals. However, now, the research team has found a way to apply durable antibacterial and antiviral properties to aluminum alloys used in hospitals. The research was published in the ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering journal.

During this research, the researchers exposed 6063 aluminum alloy discs to corrosive sodium hydroxide for around 3 hours. Doing this changes the smooth surface of the metal to a microscopic level, which creates ridges in it. The surface also became hydrophilic, which means it attracted to water. When bacteria and viruses were placed on treated aluminum, then they were pulled short ridges. It sags the outer membrane of germs between the ruptures and ridges, killing them. Feathers of some insects neutralize bacteria in the same way. The research found that antibacterial and antiviral surface treatment eliminated most of the bacteria within the first three hours, whereas eliminated several common respiratory viruses within the first two hours of contact.

Moreover, the team also tested this new antibacterial and antiviral surface treatment on smooth aluminum surfaces and plastic. They found that results were significantly better for aluminum alloys compared to smooth aluminum surfaces and plastic. Moreover, treated discs remain effective even after testing, which simulates the wear and tear that can occur over time in a hospital setting. The researchers believe that novel technology can be also applied to the other surfaces that are frequently touched in busy public settings such as airports and cruise ships.

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