Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Researchers Develop Coating That Safely Kills MRSA on Contact

Image credit: Rensselaer/Ravindra C.Pangule
Image credit: Rensselaer/Ravindra C.Pangule

Abstract:
Building on an enzyme found in nature, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic resistant infections.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Researchers Develop Coating That Safely Kills MRSA on Contact

Troy, NY | Posted on August 17th, 2010

"We're building on nature," said Jonathan S. Dordick, the Howard P. Isermann Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and director of Rensselaer's Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies. "Here we have a system where the surface contains an enzyme that is safe to handle, doesn't appear to lead to resistance, doesn't leach into the environment, and doesn't clog up with cell debris. The MRSA bacteria come in contact with the surface, and they're killed."

In tests, 100 percent of MRSA in solution were killed within 20 minutes of contact with a surface painted with latex paint laced with the coating.

The new coating marries carbon nanotubes with lysostaphin, a naturally occurring enzyme used by non-pathogenic strains of Staph bacteria to defend against Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA. The resulting nanotube-enzyme "conjugate" can be mixed with any number of surface finishes — in tests, it was mixed with ordinary latex house paint.

Unlike other antimicrobial coatings, it is toxic only to MRSA, does not rely on antibiotics, and does not leach chemicals into the environment or become clogged over time. It can be washed repeatedly without losing effectiveness and has a dry storage shelf life of up to six months.

The research, led by Dordick and Ravi Kane, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer, along with collaboration from Dennis W. Metzger at Albany Medical College, and Ravi Pangule, a chemical engineering graduate student on the project, has been published in the July edition of the journal ACS Nano, published by the American Chemical Society.

Dordick said the nanotube-enzyme coating builds on several years of previous work embedding enzymes into polymers. In previous studies, Dordick and Kane discovered that enzymes attached to carbon nanotubes were more stable and more densely packed when embedded into polymers than enzymes alone.

"If we put an enzyme directly in a coating (such as paint) it will slowly pop out," Kane said. "We wanted to create a stabilizing environment, and the nanotubes allow us to do that."

Having established the basics of embedding enzymes into polymers, they turned their attention to practical applications.

"We asked ourselves — were there examples in nature where enzymes can be exploited that have activity against bacteria?" Dordick said. The answer was yes and the team quickly focused on lysostaphin, an enzyme secreted by non-pathogenic Staph strains, harmless to humans and other organisms, capable of killing Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA, and commercially available.

"It's very effective. If you put a tiny amount of lysostaphin in a solution with Staphylococcus aureus, you'll see the bacteria die almost immediately," Kane said.

Lysostaphin works by first attaching itself to the bacterial cell wall and then slicing open the cell wall (the enzyme's name derives from the Greek "lysis" meaning "to loosen or release").

"Lysostaphin is exceptionally selective," Dordick said. "It doesn't work against other bacteria and it is not toxic to human cells."

The enzyme is attached to the carbon nanotube with a short flexible polymer link, which improves its ability to reach the MRSA bacteria, said Kane.

"The more the lysostaphin is able to move around, the more it is able to function." Dordick said.

They successfully tested the resulting nanotube-enzyme conjugate at Albany Medical College, where Metzger maintains strains of MRSA.

"At the end of the day we have a very selective agent that can be used in a wide range of environments — paints, coating, medical instruments, door knobs, surgical masks — and it's active and it's stable," Kane said. "It's ready to use when you're ready to use it."

The nanotube-enzyme approach is likely to prove superior to previous attempts at antimicrobial agents, which fall into two categories: coatings that release biocides, or coatings that "spear" bacteria.

Coatings that release biocides — which work in a manner similar to marine anti-fouling paint — pose harmful side-effects and lose effectiveness over time as their active ingredient leaches into the environment.

Coatings that spear bacteria — using amphipatic polycations and antimicrobial peptides — tend to clog, also losing effectiveness.

The nanotube-lysostaphin coating does neither, said Dordick.

"We spent quite a bit of time demonstrating that the enzyme did not come out of the paint during the antibacterial experiments. Indeed, it was surprising that the enzyme worked as well as it did while remaining embedded near the surface of the paint," Dordick said.

The enzyme's slicing or "lytic" action also means that bacterial cell contents disperse, or can be removed by rinsing or washing the surface.

Kane also said MRSA are unlikely to develop resistance to a naturally occurring enzyme.

"Lysostaphin has evolved over hundreds of millions of years to be very difficult for Staphylococcus aureus to resist," Kane said. "It's an interesting mechanism that these enzymes use that we take advantage of."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mary L. Martialay
Phone: (518) 276-2146

Copyright © Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Chengdu Partner to Expand FD-SOI Ecosystem in China: More than $100M investment to establish a center of excellence for FDXTM FD-SOI design May 23rd, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Leti Will Demo World’s-first WVGA 10-µm Pitch GaN Microdisplays for Augmented Reality Video at Display Week in Los Angles: Invited Paper also Will Present Leti’s Success with New Augmented Reality Technology That Reduces Pixel Pitch to Less than 5 Microns May 22nd, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Academic/Education

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Bar-Ilan University to set up quantum research center May 1st, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Fed grant backs nanofiber development: Rice University joins Department of Energy 'Next Generation Machines' initiative May 10th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Intertronics introduce new nanoparticle deagglomeration technology March 15th, 2017

Boron atoms stretch out, gain new powers: Rice University simulations demonstrate 1-D material's stiffness, electrical versatility January 26th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

Announcements

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Chengdu Partner to Expand FD-SOI Ecosystem in China: More than $100M investment to establish a center of excellence for FDXTM FD-SOI design May 23rd, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Leti Will Demo World’s-first WVGA 10-µm Pitch GaN Microdisplays for Augmented Reality Video at Display Week in Los Angles: Invited Paper also Will Present Leti’s Success with New Augmented Reality Technology That Reduces Pixel Pitch to Less than 5 Microns May 22nd, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project