Germs Away…Forever?

Researchers at the University of Georgia have recently developed an antimicrobial spray which is permanent and kills 99% of the most dangerous bacteria. In a paper published in June for the ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces Journal, Dr. Vikram Dhende and his colleagues synthesized a compound called the polyetheleneimine (PEI) copolymer which contains benzophenone, a molecule which can effectively stick to almost anything.

The researchers tested this new compound’s biocide abilities on various surfaces (such as cotton, polypropylene, polyethylene and poly (vinyl chloride) substrate). In order to test its effectiveness against bacteria, they used Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The bacteria was sprayed on materials with and without the PEI copolymer and in all cases, the newly designed compound killed at least 98% of all bacteria.

 

Without Copolymer

With Copolymer

S. aureus

 S aureus

E. coli

 E coli

 

This new compound has ground-breaking implications regarding the way we deal with harmful bacteria. It has the potential to eradicate nosocomial infection which will greatly improve health conditions in these institutions as well as preventing deaths in hospitals. It can also improve domestic health by preventing bacteria from colonizing on commonly used surfaces. The other problem is the disposal protocols which will have to be developed  once the product reaches consumers. This research is still in its infancy and questions must be asked about the effect on mammals and ultimately on humans. However, if it is harmless on animals and becomes FDA/Health Canada approved, we could see a drastic improvement in general human health.

Source: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/am200324f

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