This microbicidal coating - which can be chemically bonded to gauze bandages, socks and hospital bedding and gowns - kills the two most common and harmful types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause infections in hospitals, the researchers said.
"Those are the two classes of bacteria that are now epidemic in the U.K.," said Gregory Schultz, Ph.D., director of UF's Institute for Wound Research and one of the inventors who joined with a Gainesville-based company to develop the coating. "It's a huge problem there."
A patent is pending on the researchers' method of chemically bonding the substance to fabrics and other materials. This method allows the substance to be efficiently mass produced and permanently adhered to wound dressings or ready-to-wear clothing to make antifungal and microbicidal socks and underwear.
The substance could be added to hospital gowns and bedding to stop the spread of resistant bugs, said Schultz. Developed as a wound dressing, the coating blocks bacteria from reaching a wound and recolonising there. UF researchers and scientists from the company presented their findings at the Wound Healing Society's annual meeting earlier this year, and the coating's ability to wipe out harmful bacteria and fungi was later confirmed in laboratory tests.
The structure of the microbicidal coating and the complexity of the process make it nearly impossible for bacteria to become resistant to it, Schultz said. The coating comprises thousands of nitrogen clusters that permanently bond to substances such as gauze and fabric. Other dressings use a process that allows molecules to diffuse into the air and into the wound, which can slow healing and increases the chance germs will develop resistance.
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Florida