Scientists at the University of New Mexico are working on a new type of antimicrobial surface which, equipped with fluorescent lights, would be able to fight off prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection.
The new polymer-type material, "conjugated polyelectrolyte" (CPE) with an arylene-ethynylene repeat-unit structure, has been effective at killing Gram-negative bacteria, enabling its use in a wide range of potential applications.
For instance, certain "light-activated" CPEs are inert toward bacteria in the absence of light, and display bacteria-killing activity with the addition of light.
This opens up many potential applications, including the possibility of using these polymers as antibacterial countertops that may be sterilized using regular fluorescent lights.
However, this technique would be in no way harmful to people or animals.
The results will be presented today at the AVS 57th International Symposium and Exhibition, which takes place this week at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.