Time lapse video shows antimicrobial surface action on superbugs

Published: 13-Dec-2017

Experts at the Univeristy of Warwick have managed to visualise antimicrobial surface technology in action, making it easier to communicate the benefits to hygiene and infection control personel

Experts at the UK University of Warwick have produced microscopic footage of the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria being wiped out in just two hours on an antimicrobial treated ‘intelligent’ surface.

Dr Antonia Sagona, a Future Leader Fellow of the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and an Associate Member of Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB), has produced revealing time-lapse imaging featuring fluorescently labelled bacteria, to bring to life the effects of silver-treated surfaces compared to a non-protected surface.

The data was obtained at optimal bacterial growth temperature and the footage shows what happens when bacteria are loaded onto an untreated surface – they thrive! Compared to what happens when it’s loaded onto a BioCote treated surface – they die and quickly!

The video shows how unwanted microbes cannot survive on BioCote treated surfaces – which are scientifically proven to destroy up to 99.99% of harmful bacteria. This includes superbugs such as flesh eating MRSA that can result from surgical wound complications, Campylobacter which is potentially fatal and the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, plus Salmonella which can cause severe, sometimes deadly, infections such as septicaemia and pneumonia, as well as other healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) such as CPE, CRE and VRE. 

It also works against fungi such as Candida auris or viruses such as H1N1 influenza and its derivatives.

Technically speaking exposure to BioCote treated materials takes just two hours to render them non-infectious, through protein damage, membrane disruption and DNA interference.

Furthermore, the ‘invisible’ silver ion additives are simply integrated into everyday products at the time of manufacture. They’re environmentally and ecologically acceptable and can be cost effectively added to plastics, paints, textiles, ceramics, paper, board and many other work place and household materials. Because it does not wear out or wipe off surfaces, it also provides a continuous and lifelong decontamination effect.

Dr Sagona would like to acknowledge WISB for use the latest spinning disc microscope for the development of these videos, and the BBSRC for funding.

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