Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Synthetic Rubber Kills Germs On Contact

Date:
March 30, 2000
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The first synthetic rubber that kills bacteria and other pathogenic organisms on contact was described here today at the 219th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. The material — whose killing power is renewable — proved effective in laboratory tests against Staphylococcus aureus and other major sources of hospital infections.

Potential Uses Range from Medical Devices to Condoms

SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 — The first synthetic rubber that kills bacteria and other pathogenic organisms on contact was described here today at the 219th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. The material — whose killing power is renewable — proved effective in laboratory tests against Staphylococcus aureus and other major sources of hospital infections. The study was presented by Shelby Davis Worley, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Worley says the new material — the first antimicrobial rubber — uses a different mechanism to fight infection than conventional coatings and protective plastics. In laboratory tests, it killed viruses and fungi, as well as bacteria. Worley believes this will be especially helpful for patients who are immunocompromised, including transplant recipients and people with cancer or AIDS. (These patients are at increased risk for deadly infections due to their weakened immune systems.)

Condoms made of the new rubber could help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, says Worley. The material could also be used in medical supplies and devices, including surgical gloves, aprons and catheters, as well as consumer products: beverage and food containers, lids and seals, and babies’ bottles, nipples and pacifiers.

Antimicrobial protection has long been imparted by coating the surface of a material with a liquid or powder disinfectant. More recently, antimicrobial plastics have been used in consumer products such as toothbrushes, mattress pads and children’s toys.

Antimicrobial plastics are composed of polymers mixed with special disinfectants. The plastic slowly releases the disinfectant over time, killing pathogens that come in contact with its surface. When the disinfectant runs out, the plastic permanently looses its disease-fighting ability.

Worley’s technology introduces a chemical structure called an N-halamine into the polystyrene molecules (which provide rigidity) present in a variety of synthetic rubber materials. N-halamines contain a receptor that binds chlorine atoms. The pathogen is killed when it comes in contact with the surface of the rubber, where it is exposed to chlorine.

Although the rubber loses its ability to fight pathogens once the chlorine atoms are used up, this feature can be renewed simply by exposing the rubber to bleach, which provides the missing chlorine atoms. Rubber formulas can be given enhanced disease-fighting power by adding more N-halamine groups to their structure, Worley says.

Based on preliminary laboratory studies, the researcher believes that his rubber will kill microorganisms more quickly and more efficiently than antimicrobial plastics.

N-halamines have already been used to create antimicrobial plastic, which disinfects water in filter systems, and antimicrobial clothing, which protects agricultural workers from pesticide exposure. Worley has applied for a patent for antimicrobial rubber, which he believes may reach the consumer market in a few years. Halosource Corporation of Seattle, Wash., has purchased the process to create antimicrobial plastic, clothing and rubber containing N-halamines.

Shelby Davis Worley, Ph.D., is Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Synthetic Rubber Kills Germs On Contact." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000329081427.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2000, March 30). Synthetic Rubber Kills Germs On Contact. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000329081427.htm
American Chemical Society. "Synthetic Rubber Kills Germs On Contact." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000329081427.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins