Hospital infections may soon be history, researchers hope, after developing films of silver and copper that can send bacteria to their grave.
Dana Filoti, University of New Hampshire, worked with the antimicrobial properties of the two metals, testing the hypothesis that their combination might work synergistically to better kill bacteria.
The expert was able to trim the amount of microbes present on the surface by 99 percent by experimenting with the ratio of the two metals and the texture of the thin films.
Filoti said: "The hard ceramic structure looks like Swiss cheese and inside the holes there are ions of silver and copper."
One application of these antimicrobials is an antimicrobial face mask designed to guard against pathogens that result in many hospital-acquired infections.
Filoti is due to present her work on November 12 at a meeting of the scientific society AVS in San Jose.