New coating against bacteria
An international research team led by the University of Fribourg has developed a new antibacterial coating. On coated surfaces, the bacterial population is reduced by up to 10,000 times within five minutes.
The coating can be applied by spraying or via dipping processes, as the University of Fribourg (Unifr) announced. In the future, for example, doctors' coats and protective gloves are to be treated in this way.
Shortly after its publication in the scientific journal "Advanced Materials Interfaces", the new coating has already met with great interest from manufacturers in the medical, hygiene and household sectors, said Unifr.
Positive charge destroys bacteria
The antimicrobial effect of the newly developed coating is mainly based on the interaction of electrical charges at the molecular level. The surface of the coating consists of a strongly positively charged layer. Bacterial cells, on the other hand, have a negatively charged membrane.
When bacterial cells encounter the coating, the positively charged polymer molecules of the coating interact with the negatively charged molecules of the bacterial membrane. This destabilises and damages the cell membrane, causing the bacteria to die.
The project, financially supported by the Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency Innosuisse and the Swiss National Science Foundation, has been filed for a patent.