Anti-microbial ‘paint’

Posted on December 3, 2006  Comments (3)

anti-microbial ‘paint’ kills flu, bacteria

A new “antimicrobial paint” developed at MIT can kill influenza viruses that land on surfaces coated with it, potentially offering a new weapon in the battle against a disease that kills nearly 40,000 Americans per year. If applied to doorknobs or other surfaces where germs tend to accumulate, the new substance could help fight the spread of the flu, says Jianzhu Chen, MIT professor of biology.

The “antimicrobial paint,” which can be sprayed or brushed onto surfaces, consists of spiky polymers that poke holes in the membranes that surround influenza viruses. Influenza viruses exposed to the polymer coating were essentially wiped out. The researchers observed a more than 10,000-fold drop in the number of viruses on surfaces coated with the substance.

One of the benefits of the new polymer coating is that it is highly unlikely that bacteria will develop resistance to it, Klibanov said. Bacteria can become resistant to traditional antibiotics by adjusting the biochemical pathways targeted by antibiotics, but it would be difficult for bacteria to evolve a way to stop the polymer spikes from tearing holes in their membranes.

3 Responses to “Anti-microbial ‘paint’”

  1. Daniel Juzl
    December 4th, 2006 @ 8:26 am

    Is it possible to know the chemistry used in this antimicrobial paint? Is this technology used in other fields? is there data available regarding its anticrobial efficacy? ..very interesting development.

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    March 13th, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    Bacterial Walls Come Tumbling Down:
    “Penicillin and many newer antibiotics work by blocking a piece of the machinery bacteria use to construct their durable outer walls. Without these tough, protective coatings, bacteria die. The enzymatic machinery…”

  3. Curious Cat: Copper Doorknobs and Facets Kill 95% of Superbugs
    October 30th, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    “A study found that copper fittings rapidly killed bugs on hospital wards, succeeding where other infection control measures failed…”

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