Bacteria are fast becoming a big problem in the modern era because of their ability to mutate and become resistant to the various types of antibiotics used to treat them. Currently, there are a few bacteria that have developed resistance to all the available antibiotics, and this is bound to become even a more serious challenge in the future should the issue remain unresolved.
Many scientists have been in search of new ways to tackle deadly bacteria that claim thousands of lives every year. Developing new antibiotics is not a simple task. It’s also not a perspective approach to the problem and most scientists have abandoned their research in that direction. A group of researchers from Georgia Tech, however, decided to go in a completely different direction. The team transformed a steal surface into nanospikes that are quite deadly to microorganisms and shred all bacteria that come into contact with these nanospikes.
They are just 25 nanometers long, which is barely a few atoms thick. They can therefore easily pierce the bacteria cells due to their tiny size. Miraculously, these nanospikes can kill both Gram-negative bacteria such as E.Coli and Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.
The bacteria-killing iron surface was made by submerging standard steel in a nitric acid solution while treating it with electricity simultaneously. To produce those deadly bacteria-killing spikes, the right amount of voltage is required. It is easy to transform the process of creating these nanospikes because the whole procedure is quite similar to the polishing stainless steel method.
How will the bacteria-killing nanospikes lead to a bacteria-free life?
Imagine if we could be able to create surgical equipment and medical tools and that are permanently sterile and free from any bacteria. That would indeed be a step in the right direction, but it doesn't have to end there. With this recent discovery, it would also be possible for food processing companies to keep their equipment utterly and permanently sterile, and all the illness caused by germs would be a thing of the past. Perhaps one day in the future, our home kitchen equipment and utensils could also be kept bacteria free thanks to this new discovery, and this will most definitely lead to a better living.
Are the nanospikes harmful to people?
According to tests carried out on mouse cells, the nanospikes are too small to harm big cells as in the case of humans. To us, this will just be like ordinary steel we are used to, but to bacteria cells, it will be a deadly weapon.