Unique non-cytotoxic nanocomposite coatings developed to prevent post-surgical infections

Source: The post is based on the articleUnique non-cytotoxic nanocomposite coatings developed to prevent post-surgical infectionspublished in PIB on 16th February 2023

What is the News?

Researchers have developed a nanocomposite coating that can inhibit biofilm formation and also kill attached bacteria thereby helping tackle growing Post-operative surgical site infections (SSIs).

What are Post-operative surgical site infections(SSIs)?

According to WHO, Post-operative surgical site infections(SSIs) affect 11% of patients in low and middle-income countries.

Post-operative SSIs are caused by the development of biofilms (groups of bacteria growing in formation that are highly resistant to antibiotics) on the incision site or in the soft tissue inside the site.

The biofilm matrix can come from existing infections in the patient’s body or can be transferred from the hospital environment through potential carriers like surgical equipment, wound dressing, or bandage/surgical sutures. This biofilm acts as a physical shield against antibiotics given during the operation, slowing down their penetration. 

Hence, it is important to have an antibacterial coating on the surface of these materials that can act as potential sources of SSI. 

Conventionally antibacterial coatings containing biocides like nanosilver, nanocopper, triclosan, and chlorhexidine have been used to prevent bacterial infections. 

Although Triclosan and chlorhexidine exhibit antibacterial effects towards a broad-spectrum of bacteria, they and other biocides are found to produce cytotoxicity. 

As a result, there is an increasing focus on developing alternative non-cytotoxic materials with antibacterial properties.

What have the researchers developed?

Researchers have developed a nanocomposite coating (named at ARCI as ATL) by combining water repellence and biocidal property (combinatorial approach), which exhibits both hydrophobic and biocidal behaviour. 

The developed coating not only inhibits biofilm formation by restricting bacterial and water adhesion but also kills attached bacteria.

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