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'Spiky' coating kills germs

1st January 2007

15032006_H5N1.jpgA new kind of polymer-based paint with a 'spiky' surface has been found to kill bacteria and viruses on contact, US researchers have found.

The new coatings, which were developed by a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), could have important applications in preventing the spread of disease in public areas.

They said that when E. coli and staphylococcus aureus bacteria, and a strain of the influenza virus, were applied to surfaces coated with the spike-like structures, they were all totally killed within minutes of contact.

The polymer spikes were believed to have inactivated the particles by rupturing their surfaces, the team said, adding that the spread of infection could be prevented if common things encountered by people were coated with paints that inactivated the disease particles.

The MIT research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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