Electronic waste, earlier an environmental hazard, has now been turned into an anti-microbial substance that can help destroy bacterial infections.
Researchers at the University of York's Department of Chemistry have found a way to turn electronic waste from LCD screens into an anti-microbial substance that destroys infections such as Escherichia coli, some strains of Staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria.
A key element of LCD televisions is polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA), a chemical compound that is compatible with the human body, Discovery News reported.
Andrew Hunt and his colleagues had to cool and then heat PVA, dehydrate it with ethanol, and add a dash of silver nanoparticles to enhance the material's anti-microbial properties.
The final product could be used in hospital cleaning solutions to help to reduce infections.
According to a York University press release, the product "could also be used in pills and dressings that are designed to deliver drugs to particular parts of the body".
But Hunt and his team have confessed that more work needs to be done.
Regulatory agencies still must guarantee that silver nanoparticles are suitable for human health applications.