Nanotin antimicrobial coatings can prevent and treat potentially life-threatening infections.
Researchers have developed new defect-destroying coatings that can be applied to wound dressing and implants to prevent and treat potentially fatal bacterial and fungal infections.
The material is one of the thinnest antimicrobial coatings developed to date and is effective against many drug-resistant bacteria and fungal cells while being harmless to human cells.
Antibiotic resistance is a major global health threat, killing at least 700,000 people annually.Without the development of new antibacterial drugs, the death toll could rise to 10 million a year by 2050. That equates to $ 100 trillion in healthcare costs.
While the health burden of fungal infections is less known. But globally, it kills an estimated 1.5 million people each year and the number of deaths continues to rise.New threats to hospitalized COVID-19 patients are such a common fungus. AspergillusWhich can lead to a serious secondary infection
The new coating from the RMIT-led team uses ultra-thin 2D materials that until now have gotten primarily to the attention of the next generation of electronics.
Studies on black phosphorus (BP) indicate it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. But the material has never been systematically reviewed for possible clinical use.
The new research is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Applied materials and interfacesIt was revealed that BP was effective at killing microorganisms when spread in nanometer layers on substrates such as titanium and cotton, which are used in implants and wounds.
Co-investigator Dr Aaron Elborn said the search for a material that could protect against both bacterial and fungal infections was a major advance.
“These pathogens are responsible for many health burdens, and as resistance continues to increase, our ability to treat these infections becomes more and more difficult,” said El Born, a postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Medicine. Says RMIT science.
“We need new, smart weapons for our war against superbugs that have not contributed to the problem of antimicrobial resistance.
“Our nano-coatings are dual insecticides that work by tearing apart bacteria and fungal cells. It took millions of years to develop a new natural line of defense against such a lethal physical attack.
“While more research is needed to be able to use this technology in a clinical setting, it is worth noting. But it’s an exciting new approach to finding more effective ways to tackle this serious health challenge. ”
Associate Professor Sumeet Walia, a co-investigator at RMIT’s School of Engineering, has previously led a groundbreaking study using BP for artificial intelligence and brain-mimicking electronic devices.
“Blood pressure drops with oxygen, which is usually a huge problem for electronics, and one that we have to overcome with high-precision engineering to improve our technology,” Walia said.
“But it turns out that oxygen-degradable materials are ideal for killing microbes, which is what scientists are looking for in antimicrobial technology.
“So our problem is their solution.”
How nanotin wiretaps work
When BP breaks down, it oxidizes the surface of bacteria and fungi cells. This process, called cell oxidation, eventually works to separate them from each other.
In the new study, first author and PhD researcher Zo Shaw tested the effectiveness of the BP nanometer layer on five common strains of bacteria: E. coli and drug-resistant MRSA, as well as five fungi: Candida auris.
In just two hours, 99% of bacterial and fungal cells were destroyed.
Importantly, BP also began to degrade itself at that time and decompose entirely within 24 hours, a key property that shows that the material does not accumulate in the body.
Laboratory studies indicate optimal levels of BP to have serious antimicrobial activity while keeping human cells healthy and full.
Researchers have now started experimenting with different formulations to test their effectiveness on surfaces in connection with a wide range of medicine.
The team is eager to collaborate with potential industry partners to further develop the technology for which a provisional patent application has been filed.
Reference: “Solvent-free broad-spectrum black phosphorus is a rapid antimicrobial” by ZL Shaw, Sruthi Kuriakose, Samuel Cheeseman, Edwin LH Mayes, Alishiya Murali, Zay Yar Oo, Taimur Ahmed, Nhiem Tran, Kylie. Boyce, James Chapman, Christopher F. McConville, Russell J. Crawford, Patrick D. Taylor, Andrew J. Christofferson, Wi Khanh Truong, Michelle. JS Spencer, Aaron Elbourne and Sumet Valia 12 April 2021. Applied materials and interfaces.
DOI: 10.1021 / acsami.1c01739
RMIT’s research team includes Sruthi Kuriakose and Dr Taimur Ahmed (Engineering); Samuel Cheeseman, Dr James Chapman, Dr Nhiem Tran, Professor Russell Crawford, Dr Vi Khanh Truong, Patrick Taylor, Dr Andrew Christofferson, Professor Michelle Spencer and Dr Kylie Boyce. Science); And Dr Edwin Mayes (RMIT Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility).