Eliminating Bacteria in Just Two Minutes

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 27 December 2021
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH GmbH
thumbnail image: Eliminating Bacteria in Just Two Minutes

Copper is used to combat various strains of bacteria because the ions released from the surface of the metal are toxic to the bacterial cells. However, this process is slow. It takes about four hours for 97 % of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria cells to be killed. Ma Qian, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and colleagues have designed and fabricated a robust bulk super hydrophilic micro-nano Cu structure which destroys more than 99.99 % of S. aureus bacteria in just two minutes.

A special copper molding process was used to produce an alloy in which copper and manganese atoms are arranged in specific formations. The team then used chemical dealloying, which refers to the selective removal of metal atoms by a corrosive medium, layer by layer, to dissolve the manganese atoms out of the alloy. This results in pure copper with tiny micro- and nano-scale voids on the surface. The copper structure is made up of comb-like microscale cavities. Within each tooth of this structure, there are much smaller nanoscale cavities. By this, a huge active surface is created. This pattern also makes the surface super hydrophilic, so that water lies on top of it as a flat film rather than as droplets.

Bacterial cells struggle to maintain their shape. They are stretched by the nanostructure of the surface. In addition, the porous pattern enables Cu ions to be released more quickly. The combination of these effects leads to structural degradation of the bacterial cells, making them more susceptible to the toxic Cu ions, and facilitates the uptake of Cu ions into the bacterial cells.
In addition, the team demonstrated the scalability of this technology on 2000 mm2 Cu disks. The researchers believe that their new material can be used as a low-cost antibiotic-free fast bactericidal material, for example, for antimicrobial door handles and other contact surfaces in schools, hospitals, homes, and public transport as well as for filters in antimicrobial respirators or ventilation systems, and in face masks. The team will now test it also with SARS-CoV-2 viruses.


 

 



 

Article Views: 1885

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission and consult our permission guidance prior to making your request

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH