Lifestyle Scientists invent tiny tech that kills bacteria with light

Scientists invent tiny tech that kills bacteria with light

Hate cleaning your loo? Well, have we got good news for you.

Australian researchers from RMIT university have invented an artificial enzyme that could one day lead to self-cleaning toilets.

The enzymes or “NanoZymes” are made from tiny nanorods — thousands of times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

The NanoZymes work in a solution that mimics the fluid in a wound. The solution can be sprayed onto surfaces and are activated in light.

They could also be used in the fight against infections and to keep high-risk public spaces like hospitals free of bacteria like E coli and Golden Staph.

E coli can cause dysentery and gastroenteritis, while Golden Staph is the major cause of hospital acquired secondary infections and chronic wound infections.

Lead researcher, Professor Vipul Bansal said the new NanoZymes offer a major cutting edge over nature’s ability to kill bacteria.

“For a number of years, we have been attempting to develop artificial enzymes that can fight bacteria, while also offering opportunities to control bacterial infections using external ‘triggers’ and ‘stimuli’,” Bansal says.

“Now we have finally cracked it.

“We have shown that when shined upon with a flash of white light, the activity of our NanoZymes increases by over 20 times, forming holes in bacterial cells and killing them efficiently.

The team is now evaluating the long-term performance of the NanoZymes in consumer products.

“The next step will be to validate the bacteria killing and wound healing ability of these NanoZymes outside of the lab,” Bansal says.

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