doi:10.1038/nindia.2017.155 Published online 20 December 2017
Researchers have synthesised a graphene-based nanocoat that can be smeared on the surface of medical devices and implants to prevent bacterial growth on these materials, offering a way to check device- and implant-related diseases1.
Disease-causing microbes frequently grow on medical devices and implants, posing serious health risks to patients. Such device- and implant-related infections lead to huge financial losses. Existing materials used as antimicrobial coats are mostly toxic.
In search of a safe antimicrobial coating, scientists from the CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai, and , led by Sujoy K Das, prepared reduced graphene oxide using a specific mould and then modified the graphene with a protein. They then used the modified graphene as a nanocoat on a glass surface and tested its potential to kill microbes.
When the graphene-coated surface was exposed to Escherichia coli, it killed 94% of the bacteria within four hours. The graphene nanocoat was found to be biocompatible. The nanocoat also repelled water – a property potentially useful for preventing the bacterial attachment on the surface.
The graphene nanocoat provides a novel way to make nontoxic antimicrobial coating that can be spread on the surface of medical devices to stop bacterial infection, says lead researcher Das.
1. Choudhary, P. et al. Fabrication of nontoxic reduced graphene oxide protein nanoframework as sustained antimicrobial coating for biomedical application. ACS. Appl. Mater. Interfaces. 9, 38255-38269 (2017)