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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Creating a Safer Public Space

There are plenty of things that human beings do well, but mind you, there is nothing we better than getting better on a consistent basis. This ability to grow under each and every situation has allowed us to hit upon some huge milestones, with technology appearing as a major part of the stated group. The reason why technology gets an explicit mention in these discussions is largely predicated upon its unprecedented skill-set. Beyond that, however, the whole runner is also very much inspired by the manner in which those skills were used. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence, including a well-timed entry into our healthcare space. Technology’s link-up with healthcare couldn’t have arrived at a better moment because it came right when the sector was struggling to hold up against its own obsolete structure. The dynamics will fortunately change on the back of those new and smarter ideas, but even after achieving a completely different identity, the medical sphere will continue to deliver all the right goods. If anything, this pattern has grown more and more evident over the recent past, and one recent development does a lot to keep up that trend.

The researching team at University of Michigan has successfully developed a coating that is pretty much purposed around disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Well-equipped to kill pathogens like MRSA, SARS-CoV-2, and more, the coating is constructed using polyurethane that contains crosslinked compounds from essential oils with wide-spectrum anti-microbial action. One intriguing detail about this concept is how the researchers were able to fine-tune the crosslinking process so to make sure that the oils were killing the microbes, while also remaining active for an extended period of time. Staying on the timeframe element, the University of Michigan’s latest brainchild can, notably enough, kill all the bacteria in just two minutes. However, assuming you consistently recharge the coating through fresh oils, it can prove to be effective for as long as six months.

“We’ve never had a good way to keep constantly-touched surfaces like airport touch screens clean,” said Anish Tuteja, a researcher involved in the study. “Disinfectant cleaners can kill germs in only a minute or two but they dissipate quickly and leave surfaces vulnerable to reinfection. We do have long-lasting antibacterial surfaces based on metals like copper and zinc, but they take hours to kill bacteria. This coating offers the best of both worlds.”

It’s safe to say that the stated technology is another ripple effect of Covid 19. Alongside new therapeutic technologies like mRNA, the pandemic has done a fair amount to enhance our knowledge about how to properly disinfect public places, and MIT’s special coating does a lot to build upon this momentum. The researchers have already tested the idea multiple times. On one occasion, they even smeared a coated surface with raw chicken, and according to the details, the technology worked, as all the emerging microbes were swiftly eliminated.

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