While checking out the dozens of medtech companies showing off their stuff at the recent Med in Ireland event in Dublin, we were intrigued to discover Kastus, the inventors of a pretty amazing surface coating technology. The company’s Log4+ coating is made of titanium dioxide co-doped with fluorine and copper, the combination of which results in potent anti-microbial properties that are significantly magnified when light strikes surfaces covered with the material. In a study published last year in Nature Scientific Reports, the Log4+ coating achieved reductions in Staphylococcus aureus bacterial counts by about two orders of magnitude when in darkness and by more than four orders of magnitude (this is where the name Log4+ comes from) when the surface was illuminated by visible light. Additionally, it has been shown to work against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as fungi and mold.
In short, it works by producing reactive oxygen species that kill bacteria because the co-doped compound is photocatalytic in nature. This property is also permanent, and as long as light strikes the surface it will continue to maintain its powerful anti-microbial properties indefinitely.
Kastus’ Log4+ superhydrophilic coating can be applied to glass and ceramics, remaining completely transparent and not inhibiting the functionality of touchscreen technologies. This is a pretty big deal, as smartphones, tablets, and touchscreen monitors are a major vector in helping pathogens jump from person to person in clinical environments and in the general population. Moreover, the coating is touch and scratch resistant, seemingly perfect for modern electronics and portable devices.
The coating, which is about 35 nanometers in thickness, can be applied during the firing part of the manufacturing process, and having spoken to reps from Kastus, the material is easy to integrate into an existing glass or ceramics factory. It arrives as a liquid and doesn’t require any toxic chemicals to help during binding and there aren’t any resulting bi-products.
The company sees a bunch of applications for its technology, particularly for medical devices that people interact with with their hands, counter-tops, as well as pools, saunas, and anywhere else pathogens like to gather. Since bacteria don’t live for very long on it, smells are also reduced, helping facility managers to maintain a pleasant indoor environment in bathrooms, locker rooms, and such.
Having only learned of Kastus’ technology at Med in Ireland, we were both surprised at the coating’s abilities and quite glad that the clinical environments our readers work in on a daily basis won’t be as infested with bugs as they can be these days.
Study of Kastus coatings in Scientific Reports: Highly Efficient F, Cu doped TiO2 anti-bacterial visible light active photocatalytic coatings to combat hospital-acquired infections…