Marine life inspires new chemical-free, anti-bacteria plastic ‘skins’
Washington: A team of five companies has come together to create anti-microbial surfaces for use on ships, lenses and even medical devices – all inspired from marine animals.
Researchers from A*STAR’s Industrial Consortium On Nanoimprint (ICON) are using nanotechnology to create synthetic, chemical-free, anti-bacterial surfaces, which can reduce infections caused by pathogens such as S. aureus and E. coli and can be used on common plastics, medical devices, lenses and even ship hulls.
Nanoimprint technology, a form of nanotechnology, gives the engineered material ‘natural’ properties such as luminescence, adhesiveness, waterproofing and anti-reflectivity.
“With millions of years of experience behind her, nature has produced some of the most rugged, adaptable life forms. Who better to learn engineering from than Mother Nature?” said Dr Low Hong Yee, IMRE’s Director for Research and Innovation and head of the consortium.
“ICON and nanoimprint research gives our own R&D an added dimension and provides us with alternative options on how our existing technology can be applied”, said Mr Steve Ferriday, Technical Manager, Worldwide Marine Foul Release, International Paint Ltd (UK).
“Chemical additives in biomedical devices can adversely affect different users in different ways. The anti-microbial surfaces derived from nanoimprint technology without the need for additional chemicals and coatings may offer us an alternative solution to this issue”, said Mr Tsuyoshi Watanabe, General Manager, R&D Center of Hoya Corporation, a Japanese-based company dealing in advanced electronics and optics technologies.