Ethel Koranteng, University College London
Light-Activated Surfaces for Reducing Hospital Acquired Infections
Written by Maria Torres Arango
Reducing the impact of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) represents a huge challenge for the healthcare sector due to the increasing antimicrobial resistance developed by bacterial populations in hospital environments, costing billions and affecting patients and medical personnel. This problem has been identified to be a consequence of excessive and sometimes unnecessary use of antibiotics. Luckily, innovative efforts to address this issue seem to become increasingly feasible from the antibacterial activity of quantum dots (QD) when exposed to light. Ethel Koranteng from University College London shared their efforts to develop antibiotic-free disinfecting agents based on the synergistic effect of newly available non-toxic cadmium-free QD and crystal violet. As Koranteng mentioned in her talk, this combination enables the use of a wider range of the visible-light spectrum to maximize the antibacterial activity, resulting in efficacies of 99.99% and 99.97% in killing laboratory strains of Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), respectively.