Researchers at KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) in Saudi Arabia, not to be confused with KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), have developed a special nanoparticle coating that can be used to give the surfaces of medical devices antibacterial properties. The coating is made of gold nanoclusters containing lysozyme enzymes, an antibacterial agent, fused into a polymer matrix. The nanoparticles also contain kanamycin, an antibiotic.
This formulation keeps the nanoparticles from leeching into the body while only being triggered to release the kanamycin in the presence of bacteria, killing it when it lands on the coating’s surface.
The gold nanoparticles actually change their fluorescence when in the presence of bacteria, allowing an ultraviolet light to be used to detect tools infected tools coated with the material.
The team tested the material by coating a reusable phosphor plate, a device used by dentists to capture X-rays. They demonstrated the antibacterial ability of the nanoparticle coating and its ability to show where bacteria has landed.