Silver ions and electric current are well known killers of bacteria that have been utilized to keep things clean in different scenarios for many years. Yet, their use is limited to only certain applications as a fairly high current or potentially toxic concentration of silver ions are needed to destroy bacterial buildup. At the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden researchers have now come up with a way to combine silver nanoparticles and electric current at a low concentration and reduced power level, respectively, so that bacteria is still killed off but humans are not affected.
The technology may allow the production of medical devices, clinical tables, and other objects that have surfaces that do not allow bacterial pathogens to live on them for very long.
To test the capabilities of this approach, the team applied Staphylococcus aureus to a plastic surface containing embedded silver nanoparticles. While the silver infused surface on its own would not be particularly effective at getting rid of S. aureus, by adding a tiny current with a square wave voltage resulted in truly preventing bacteria from growing on the surface.
Study in Advanced Healthcare Materials: Electroenhanced Antimicrobial Coating Based on Conjugated Polymers with Covalently Coupled Silver Nanoparticles Prevents Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Formation…