New nanotechnology paints for walls, ceilings, and surfaces could be used to kill hospital superbugs when fluorescent lights are switched on, scientists heard at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin.
The new paints contain tiny particles of titanium dioxide, which is the dazzling white compound often used as a brightener in commercial paints. It will also be familiar to tennis fans as the powder used for the white lines to mark out the courts at Wimbledon.
Scientists have discovered that extremely small, nanoparticle-sized forms of titanium dioxide can kill bacteria and destroy dirt when they absorb ultraviolet light (UV) energy from the sun. They produce active molecules which clean up the painted surfaces. …
“However, other common additives in paints, such as calcium carbonate, silica or talc decreased the antibacterial efficiency of the paint. If calcium carbonate was present the kill rate dropped by up to 80%,” said Lucia Caballero. “Our tests on a commercially available paint showed that the ability of the paint to inactivate bacteria was massively reduced compared with a paint formulation which did not contain such additives.” – mnt