Researchers have developed a new nanoporous copper surface, capable of killing bacteria in just two minutes, and this new copper structure can eventually help combat the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant superbacteria.
Copper has long been used to control various strains of bacteria, including gold staphyloccs, because ions released from the metal surface are toxic to bacterial cells, but this process is slow. Professor Ma Qian of the University of RMIT explains in a press release: "".
99.99% of cells break down in two minutes.
A group of scientists from the University of RMIT and the Australian National Health Agency, CSIRO, set itself the task of producing copper with improved anti-bacterial properties, and they succeeded in doing so. ", says Qian. This proved to be more effective than standard copper, showing 120 times more rapid destruction of bacteria.
Moreover, these results have been achieved without the help of medication, and Professor Ma Qian concludes: "The details have been published in the magazine.
The porist structure of copper is the key to its effectiveness as a microbicide, and a special form was used to create this new structure: copper and manganese atoms were in certain shapes; then the manganese atoms were removed, leaving clean copper but with many microscopic surfaces on the surface.
"Super hydrophilic" surface
Dr. Jackson Lee Smith, a former CSIRO researcher and lead author of the study, says, ".
The researcher adds that the pattern makes the surface superhydrophilic: the water falls on it not as a drop, but as a flat film. It is thus difficult for bacterial cells to maintain shape. "," says Lee Smith. "
According to Dr. Daniel Lian of CSIRO, because of the increase in the number of antibiotic-resistant superbacteria, the development of new materials such as improved copper is of interest to many researchers around the world. "," the scientist concludes.
When this new structure of copper can be produced in large quantities, it will allow it to be used in a variety of fields.