The ions emitted from the metal's surface are harmful to bacterial cells. Thus, conventional copper has long been used to combat several types of bacteria, including the common Staphylococcus aureus. However, the process is slow when traditional copper is used, and experts worldwide are constantly working to speed it up.
A group of materials scientists have now created a micro-nano copper structure. They demonstrated its outstanding bactericidal power, benefiting Advanced Bactericidal & Viricidal Coatings and Surfaces Market as it would work against the dangerous Staphylococcus aureus pathogen.
The researchers stated that the new material has many possibilities, including Antimicrobial door handles and other touch surfaces in residences, hospitals, schools, and public transportation. Furthermore, it could be employed as a filter in face masks, air ventilation systems, and antimicrobial respirators.
A normal copper surface will kill 97 percent of golden staph within four hours. Surprisingly, the researchers discovered that placing golden staph bacteria on their custom-designed copper surface could destroy over 99.99 percent of the cells in just two minutes. It's not only more effective, but it's also 120 times faster. The copper's porous porosity was crucial to its ability to destroy bacteria quickly.
The researchers employed a sophisticated copper mold casting procedure to organize copper and manganese atoms into particular forms. Dealloying was used to remove the manganese atoms from the alloy, leaving pure copper with microscale and nanoscale voids on its surface.
The copper used by researchers is made up of comb-like microscale cavities that also include much smaller nanoscale cavities within each tooth. This denotes that it has a large active surface area. The design also makes the surface extremely hydrophilic or water-loving, so water forms a flat film rather than droplets. Because of the hydrophilic effect, bacterial cells struggle to maintain their shape when the surface nanostructure stretches them, while the porous design allows copper ions to release more quickly.
These combined effects cause bacterial cells to degrade structurally, exposing them to toxic copper ions. Moreover, they also facilitate copper ion uptake into the bacterial cells. Bacterial elimination is substantially faster as a result of this combination of effects.
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