Issue: October 2020
Perspective from Curtis J. Donskey, MD
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
September 02, 2020
2 min read

Antimicrobial surface coatings perform well in lab experiments

Issue: October 2020
Perspective from Curtis J. Donskey, MD
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Antimicrobial cold spray surface coatings performed well in lab experiments, reducing contamination, and could supplement current infection prevention and control measures, researchers said.

The coatings are composed of copper and silver metals, researchers explained in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Sandy van Vuuren

“My student, Michael Lucas, developed a 3D coating with antimicrobial potential. That is where I came in,” Sandy van Vuuren, PhD, a researcher in the department of pharmacy and pharmacology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, told Healio.

Van Vuren, Lucas and colleagues investigated the touch-contact antimicrobial efficacy of the novel cold spray surface coatings by using an antimicrobial time-kill assay to simulate their activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and resistant strains of each. They used regression modeling to determine microbial reduction rates.

The study demonstrated a more than seven log reduction in microbial colony within minutes on surfaces with cold spray coatings compared with a single log bacterial reduction on copper metal sheets within a 3-hour contact period. Additionally, the researchers found that copper-coated 3D printed acrylonitrile butadiene styrene achieved complete microbial elimination against all tested pathogens within a 15-minute exposure period, whereas a copper-on-copper coating achieved microbial elimination within 10 minutes and within 5 minutes with the addition of silver powder.

The researchers said that a longitudinal clinical trial would be needed to “evaluate the durability and sustained efficacy of these coatings under real-world conditions.”

Nosocomial infections have been a persistent and prevailing problem within hospitals, exacerbated by resistant microbial strains. Touch-contact surfaces provide an intermediary for infection transmission and were therefore targeted for solution development,” Van Vuuren said. “Hand hygiene and surface cleaning practices, while effective in theory, have proved ineffective in successfully mitigating the prevalence of hospital-acquired infections due to serious compliance failures.”