Now metal surfaces can be instant bacteria killers


BACTERIAL pathogens can live on surfaces for days. What if frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs could instantly kill them off?
Purdue University engineers have created a laser treatment method that could potentially turn any metal surface into a rapid bacteria killer just by giving the metal’s surface a different texture.
In a study published in the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces, the researchers demonstrated that this technique allows the surface of copper to immediately kill off superbugs such as MRSA.
Copper has been used as an antimicrobial material for centuries. But it typically takes hours for native copper surfaces to kill off bacteria. We developed a one-step laser-texturing technique that effectively enhances the bacteria-killing properties of copper’s surface.”
The technique is not yet tailored to killing viruses such as the one responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, which are much smaller than bacteria.
However the researchers has begun testing this technology on the surfaces of other metals and polymers that are used to reduce risks of bacterial growth and biofilm formation on devices such as orthopedic implants or wearable patches for chronic wounds.
CORONAVIRUSES AFFECTING HEART HEALTH: A recent review examines the relationship between coronaviruses and the cardiovascular system. Although information about SARS-CoV-2, specifically, is scant, the authors believe that research into other coronaviruses might provide insight.
A type of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19, an illness infamous for its effects on the lungs and airways.
However, as the authors of the latest review — which features in the journal JAMA Cardiology — explain, acute respiratory infections “are well-recognized triggers for cardiovascular diseases.”
For instance, scientists have shown that influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and bacterial pneumonia can affect cardiovascular health and increase the severity of the condition. In fact, the authors explain, “during most influenza epidemics, more patients die of cardiovascular causes than pneumonia-influenza causes.”
Like SARS-CoV-2, scientists believe that the virus that causes SARS also originated in bats. In 2003, 8,096 people in 29 countries developed SARS. As the authors explain, the sparsity of evidence makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the impact of SARS on cardiovascular health.