10.03.2022 change 10.03.2022

Polish researchers use nanoparticles to keep surfaces sterile

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Bioactive nanoparticle composites applied in the form of a permanent coating eliminate viruses, bacteria and fungi. This method of protecting the sterility of places exposed to the spread of microorganisms has been proposed by a researcher from the Warsaw University of Technology.

According to the Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management of the Warsaw University of Technology, the technology of combining sterilizing nanoparticles into composite structures was developed by Professor Agnieszka Jastrzębska's team. This physical and chemical engineering product allows to destroy harmful microorganisms on any surface.

'Nanoparticle composites in the form of powder or gel may constitute a sterilising additive to almost any material. This enables using such products in places and on surfaces particularly exposed to the spread of pathogenic microorganisms', explains Professor Agnieszka Jastrzębska, quoted in the Warsaw University of Technology press release.

She adds that the nanocomposite chemical composition and parameters can be adapted to the detailed requirements of the end user, giving them unique functional features. The only limitation is the nanostructure creator's imagination.

Bioactive nanoparticle coatings are stable. They retain self-sterilising properties and do not release individual nanoparticles that could be absorbed by the cells of living organisms. Unlike toxic free nanoparticles, nanocomposite systems are therefore safe for their environment.

Nanoparticle composites have been used to develop stationery and offset print product, plastics (including biodegradable ones), smart textiles, paints, varnishes and primers for preserving construction materials such as concrete, plaster or wood, as well as surface and hand sanitizers.

'Sterilizing nanoparticle composites and effective technologies of their production are a response to the market demand. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, this is a socially very important topic, and materials with unique properties gain significance. The demand for new and safe solutions that destroy bacteria, fungi and viruses is very high', remarks Professor Agnieszka Jastrzębska.

Applications for new self-sterilising coatings are being developed by a spin-off ADJ Nanotechnology. Weekly production volume reaches tens of kilos of composite nanoparticles with antimicrobial and self-sterilising properties.

PAP - Science in Poland

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