This material uses energy from ambient light to kill hospital superbugs | Science News

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This material uses energy from ambient light to kill hospital superbugs

In lab tests, the quantum dot polymer nearly eliminated two drug-resistant strains of bacteria

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7:00am, April 10, 2018
hospital

STERILE SURFACES  A newly developed coating uses overhead light to trigger bacteria-killing molecules and could be used in hospitals to help stop the spread of some infections.

PHOENIX — A new material that harnesses the power of ambient light to produce bacteria-killing molecules could help stem the spread of hospital infections, including those with drug-resistant bacteria.

About 1 in 10 patients worldwide get an infection while receiving treatment at a hospital or other health care facility, according to the World Health Organization. “Contaminated hospital surfaces play a key role in spreading those infections,” said Ethel Koranteng, a chemist at University College London, on April 5 at the Materials Research Society spring meeting.

Koranteng and colleagues developed a material to make hospital surfaces self-disinfecting. Naturally antimicrobial metals such as copper and steel are difficult to sculpt around uneven surfaces. But the new polymer-based material could be fashioned into

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