A team of nanotechnologists from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, has developed a copper surface able to kill bacteria on it within two minutes, which is 120 times faster than normal copper.
Aiming to create an extremely porous surface, the team produced an alloy of copper and manganese atoms. That left behind a maze-like copper surface full of very small holes for the bacteria to get trapped inside, which makes it harder for bacteria cells to form in the first place.
Materials engineer Ma Qian, one of the developers, says: “A standard copper surface will kill about 97% of golden staph within four hours. Incredibly, when we placed golden staph bacteria on our specially designed surface, it destroyed more than 99.99 percent of the cells in just 2 minutes. Our copper structure has shown itself to be remarkably potent for such a common material.”