TROY, NY — Imagine a coating on a hospital doorknob that safely kills deadly drug-resistant bacteria on contact: Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
(RPI) believe they have invented just that, according to the Times Union.
Their discovery may lead to commercial products for walls, furniture, medical equipment and hospital gowns to destroy methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA) and other dangerous microbes that circulate in hospitals, the article stated.
Scientists at RPI took natural bacteria-killing enzymes and placed them in carbon nanotubes — tiny structures that lock the enzymes in place — then they added those nanotubes to latex paint, the article noted.
The team''s experiments showed 100 percent of MRSA that touched the paint was destroyed, according to an article that appeared in the July edition of ACS Nano
, a journal published by the American Chemical Society
According to the article, the scientists used lysostaphin
to kill MRSA, which is a protein created by staph bacteria to fend off attacks from other staph bacteria: The enzyme slices open the cell wall and the MRSA cell basically explodes.