Lasers turn metal surfaces into bacteria killers

Lasers turn metal surfaces into bacteria killers

Cannabidiol helps fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria “The nice thing about our process is that it’s not something we’re adding to the surface,” says Rahim Rahimi of Purdue University’s materials engineering division, “so there’s not any kind of additional material required. There are no antibiotics, no spray coating. It’s just modifying the native surface of the material…“we’ve created a robust process that selectively generates micron and nanoscale patterns directly onto the targeted surface without altering the bulk of the material.” Research is ongoing in using this procedure on alloys that have preexisting antimicrobial properties. The treated surface has been proven to enhance germ-killing properties – even with aggressive pathogens that have developed resistance to conventional antibiotics such as MRSA. However, the material has not yet been developed to the point where it can eliminate viruses such as those responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, as these viruses are much smaller than bacteria. The etched surfaces have proven effective on both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Can it make medical implants safer? This technology works way beyond making doorknobs more sanitary. However: Rahimi and his team are working on adapting it for use with orthopedic implants and wearable wound patches. Implants are a vulnerable spot in the body’s immune system because of their intrinsically foreign nature. This means extra measures must be taken to protect these infection-prone areas. Usually, antibiotics are used to prevent bacterial biofilm formation, but this can lead to antibiotic resistance in the bacteria. Purdue University’s laser etching technique can prevent this because of the enormous boost it gives to the antimicrobial nature of the implant surface, without the use of antibiotics or anti-adherence coatings that could slow down the integration of the implant into the body. Etching the surface of metals with nanoscopic patterns has another benefit: it renders the material much more hydrophilic. Several studies have been done on hydrophilic surfaces and how they aid healing: they have been shown to control inflammation, help bone cells to reattach more strongly, improve the implant’s integration with the body, and contribute to faster osteogenesis, or bone regeneration. Rahimi and his team have observed this behavior in fibroblast cells. Also, when used in wound patches, hydrophilic surfaces help the blood to coagulate more efficiently as well as reducing the potential for infection. Is laser etching commercially viable? With its simplicity and scalable nature, the laser etching process pioneered by Purdue University is easy to integrate into the manufacturing practices already in operation for medical devices. Bacteria have ranged from annoyances to life-threatening killers, and huge amounts of a medical team’s work are devoted to keeping them out. Laser etching could provide a useful way to ease this burden considerably. Source: Now metal surfaces can be instant bacteria killers, thanks to new laser treatment technique Journal reference: Selvamani, V., Zareei, A., Elkashif, A., Maruthamuthu, M. K., Chittiboyina, S., Delisi, D., Li, Z., Cai, L., Pol, V. G., Seleem, M. N., Rahimi, R., Hierarchical Micro/Mesoporous Copper Structure with Enhanced Antimicrobial Property via Laser Surface Texturing. Adv. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 1901890. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/admi.201901890?_ga=2.35057185.1008137069.1586741252-712945497.1586489343



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