According to a study, almost a million people get affected with healthcare-acquired infections every year during their stay and treatment duration in hospitals. In addition to that, more than 100,000 of these patients die each year due to these complications. A group of researchers hailing from the University of Georgia are determined enough to change the scenario and hence have come up with a study showing a promising tool to prevent infections before they can affect the patients.
The study was published in the renowned ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, which examined how an extraordinary coating developed by UGA scientists can prevent various liquids like blood and water from sticking to surfaces. Furthermore, the liquid-repellent coating can stop blood clot formation as well as kill bacteria, as stated by the researchers. This invention by the team from UGA has proven to be extremely beneficial for the world critical care medical device market.
Bacterial growth on medical equipment is known to be responsible for most of the hospital-acquired infection cases. But, at the same time, it is not easy to tackle the issue as bacteria will cling onto a surface, producing a jelly-like coating, also called biofilm. Bacteria can be easily killed, in its free-floating state, but, it becomes a tough job for the antibiotics to kill the bacteria once it gets converted into a biofilm, as stated by the corresponding author of the research study. He further mentioned that the biofilm could also break off and as a result, infect various other body parts. Once the infection spreads within the whole body, it becomes nearly impossible for the antibiotics to treat.
The team members combined copper nanoparticles and zinc oxide along with a liquid-repellent coating. In order to test the effectiveness of coating against various liquids, the coating was applied to sponges. The scientists smartly chose sponges for this task as sponges are known for their absorbent quality. If the coating prevents the sponges from absorbing any sort of liquid, then it would, of course, work marvellously on other medical devices.
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