Can Shark Skin Prevent Bacterial Growth?

by Sheela Philomena on  February 8, 2011 at 2:32 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Modern medicine has defeated a lot of diseases, but it still remains ineffective in limiting bacterial infections. If shark skin could offer a cure for bacterial infections, we may soon owe them our lives.
 Can Shark Skin Prevent Bacterial Growth?
Can Shark Skin Prevent Bacterial Growth?

But soon dangerous bacteria MRSA, which are resistant to almost all antibiotics, could face a new barrier.

And the most feared predator of the sea - the shark - has inspired the invention, reports the CBS News.

When searching for a way to keep barnacles from sticking to ship hulls, Tony Brennan, a biomedical engineer at the University of Florida, looked to sharkskin that fends off microbes naturally.

He recreated sharkskin surface on plastic sheets, called Sharklet, which has shown positive results in inhibiting marine growth.

Now, if there's a material that even bacteria won't stick to, there's an even bigger customer waiting for it - the healthcare industry.

Shravanthi Reddy, director of research for Sharklet, said the medical community has for a long time been focused on killing as much existing bacteria as possible.

"Now, the interesting thing about bacteria is that you can't kill them all," she said.

"You can kill 99 percent of them, but that 1 percent that you leave alive is the strongest 1 percent," she added.

Reddy tested whether Sharklet could repel bacteria the way sharkskin repels algae and barnacles.

Two pieces of plastic - one smooth and one patterned with Sharklet - were subjected to bacteria and incubated for 24 hours.

The researchers found astounding results - the plain plastic was covered with a bacteria film.

"You might see one or two cells, but you don't see that big clumping the way you see it on the smooth surface," said Reddy.

"What's really interesting is that there are no chemical differences between the surfaces. It's the same material. No differences, other than the physical shape," she said.

The researchers hope the material could be an answer to the enormous problem of secondary infections in hospitals, using it in places and objects that are constantly touched - bedside tables, door panels.

Source: ANI

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions
My husband had back surgery in July of 2010, then spent 134 days in the Hospital which included a few weeks in Rehab. He then died Christmas Eve as a result of collateral damage from MRSA. It should not have happened! I spent six months in the Hospital with him and saw the day to day procedures and noticed, on many occasions, how this bacteria could be spread. Hospitals are not the only breeding ground for this bacteria, we need to look at the Rehab Centers as well. Both institutions should be forced to make public the incidents of MRSA, we would all be amazed. Hopefully this new discovery can be developed and implemented. It is something that everyone needs to support! We need a foundation that people can start donating to, plus a website needs to be developed for people to learn more about MRSA as well as other resistant bacterias and precautions that can be taken.
Shane Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Eradicating bacteria is a must since there are a lot of resistant-bacteria nowadays. I hope this newest discovery be a success.
ennairam_23 Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You May Also Like

View All