Wonder paper that wards off harmful bacteria

July 25th, 2010 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 25 (IANS) Scientists have created a new form of paper that wards off harmful bacteria. It could have applications ranging from anti-bacterial bandages to food packaging that keeps food fresh longer to shoes that ward off foot odour.
The new material comprises the thinnest possible sheets of carbon, called graphene, first discovered by scientists in Britain in 2004, reports the journal ACS Nano.

Scientists have tried to use graphene in solar cells, computer chips, and sensors, according to a statement of the American Chemical Society.

Chunhai Fan and Qing Huang from the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics and colleagues decided to see how graphene affects living cells.

They made sheets of paper from graphene oxide and then tried to grow bacteria and human cells on top. Bacteria were unable to grow on the paper, and it had little adverse effect on human cells.

“Given the superior antibacterial effect of graphene oxide and the fact that it can be mass-produced…, this new carbon nanomaterial may find important environmental and clinical applications,” Chunhai and Quing stated.

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