South Korean researchers have developed a technique that can be used to coat glass with a layer of antibacterial silver ions.
According to the team from Yonsei Univeristy in Seoul the process can be used to prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria including E.coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter and could be used to coat and protect medical equipment.
The anticbacterial properties of silver have been known about since the middle of the nineteenth century and silver solutions have been used widely as disinfectants, in water purification in and in dentistry.
The Seoul team has developed a way to “spin” coat glass with silver present in a so-called sol-gel, a type of gelatinous solution within which are dispersed dissolved silver ions present as their nitrate salt.
Spinning takes place at 200 Celsius with a rotation rate of 2000 revolutions per minute. They used atomic force microscopy to demonstrate how a substantial coating could be formed on glass and then successfully tested its activity against various food-poisoning bacteria.