Graphite nano-coating kills bacteria infesting implants, as designed by Swedish scientists

March 27, 2020

A new, antimicrobial implant coating, using carbon-based nanoplatelets, has been developed by scientists at Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers) in Sweden – the vertically-protruding nanoplatelets can slice through the protective outer membrane of bacteria that might otherwise colonise the implant, effectively killing it. Human cells will not be harmed, because a human cell is about 25 times larger than an individual bacterium, so the platelets would do little more than scratch its surface.

Based off the spiked implements designed to keep birds from roosting in certain areas – which the scientists previously incorporated into graphene flakes– the new coating makes use of graphene’s cheaper cousin, graphite. It consists of a polyethylene base and protruding graphite nanoplatelets at a mix ratio of about 15% to 20%. Thankfully, like the costly graphene, the graphite coating retains much of the ability to cut into harmful bacteria that might cause infections and the subsequent removal of implanted devices.

Chalmers postdoctoral researcher Santosh Pandit commented that the coated implants could remain in the body for much longer than those used today: “Our research could contribute to reducing the enormous costs that related infections cause health care services worldwide, in addition to reducing patients’ suffering.”


Category: Education, Features

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