Scientists develop anti-microbial paint to kill superbugs

April 21st, 2009 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 21 (IANS) Scientists have developed the first broad-spectrum antimicrobial paint, that can simultaneously kill not just disease-causing bacteria but mould, fungi and viruses.
Designed to both decorate and disinfect homes, businesses and health-care settings, the paint is the most powerful to date, according to a new study.

The paint shows special promise for fighting so-called “superbugs”, antibiotic-resistant microbes that infect hospital surfaces and cause an estimated 88,000 deaths annually in the US, researchers said.

Yuyu Sun and Zhengbing Cao said anti-microbial paints already available are only effective against a narrow range of disease-causing micro-organisms, limiting their usefulness.

The scientists already were aware of research on the germ-killing effects of N-halamines, bleach-like substances already in wide use.

They developed a new antimicrobial polymer that includes a type of N-halamine. It has no undesirable effects on the quality of latex paints, said a release of the American Chemical Society.

Lab tests showed that the new polymer kills a wide range of disease-causing microbes including those resistant to multiple antibiotics.

The paint retains an anti-microbial punch for extended periods, and it can be easily “recharged” with a simple chlorination process, the researchers noted.

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