New Nanotech Paints for Hospitals Could Kill Superbugs
Products Finishing (December 18, 2008)

Source of Article:  http://www.accu-mold.com/

Originally Published:20081201.

New nanotechnology paints for walls, ceilings, and surfaces could be used to kill hospital superbugs when fluorescent lights are switched on, according to a presentation at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting held at Trinity College, Dublin.

With rising concern about the spread of hospital superbugs, healthcare trusts are increasingly looking to find better ways to maintain hygienic standards in hospitals. The same concerns are driving developments in the food industry and in pharmaceutical companies. These new nanoparticle paints could provide a simple and cost-effective solution.

The new paints contain tiny particles of titanium dioxide, which is the white compound often used as a brightener in commercial paints.

Scientists have discovered that extremely small, nanoparticle-sized forms of titanium dioxide can kill bacteria and destroy dirt when they absorb UV energy from the sun and produce active molecules that clean up the painted surfaces.

"It would be best if the titanium was antibacterial at wavelengths of light that you find indoors, such as fluorescent light, so that paints containing the nanoparticles could be used in hospitals," says Lucia Caballero from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

The researchers looked at the survival of the food poisoning bacterium E. coli on different formulations of paints containing the titanium nanoparticles under different types and intensities of lights. "We found that paints containing titanium dioxide are more successful at killing bacteria if the concentration of the nanoparticles is stronger than in normal paint. Our best results showed that all the E. coli were killed under ordinary fluorescent lights," says Caballero.

"However, other common additives in paints, such as calcium carbonate, silica or talc decreased the antibacterial efficiency of the paint. If calcium carbonate was present the kill rate dropped by up to 80%," adds Caballero.

 

 

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