Germs, Germs, Go Away!

There’s an old saying about prevention being the best medicine. Even when taking the greatest possible care, hand hygiene and hospital cleaners are still not controlling the number of patients contracting secondary infections while in the hospital. The problem of secondary infections has been plaguing hospitals for years. Healthcare professionals have been hoping for some way to control and eliminate germs and decrease the possibility of secondary infections in their facilities. Thankfully this solution seems to be right around the corner. Researchers have developed a protective coating that fights germs on its own!

The incredible thing about this coating is that that it is light-activated. The science behind it is pretty fascinating because there are certain dyes that are harmful to bacterial when exposed to bright light. When the light strikes these dyes the electrons becomes excited and it produces reactive oxygen radicals that damage bacteria’s cell walls. Amazingly it also continues to work in the dark after it’s been activated! Researchers were so surprised by this they’ve decided to do additional testing to try and figure out why.

It is extremely effective as antimicrobial agent killing virulent nasty germs like staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and C. diff. It works on nearly every surface, from counters, to floors. They hope to also add the coating to doorknobs and other high contact areas. They also hope to eventually use the coating on tubes, catheters, and even keyboards and phones to keep them germ free. The motivating idea is to make the environment hostile to bacterial and microbial growth. The coating is also extremely durable, and is very resistant to being scrapped off or worn away during cleaning. Creating the coating is also relatively easy and cost effective to manufacture which means it will be very easy to implement in healthcare facilities once testing is completed. It’s amazing to think that light can have such incredible effect in advancing medical research.

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