Reducing hospital infection with nanostructures

Every year, thousands of patients develop infections while being treated in hospitals. To help prevent this, researchers at the University of Central Florida are developing inexpensive nanostructures to make self-cleaning medical equipment affordable and accessible for healthcare professionals.

TRANSCRIPT

Every year, thousands of patients develop infections while being treated in hospitals.

To help prevent this, researchers at the University of Central Florida are developing inexpensive nanostructures to make self-cleaning medical equipment affordable and accessible for health care professionals.

Here's the story.

Nanotechnology -- one nanometer about one-billionth of a meter.

So if you make it into a nanostructure or nanoparticle, then the properties, the physical as well as chemical properties, are going to change.

And that's the whole point of nanotechnology.

Once you get that properties changed or enhanced, the applications are limitless.

Nanostructures have a lot of applications in hydrophobicity and making it so that water and oils don't stick to a surface.

We want to do self-cleaning medical equipment because it's such a big issue.

Something like 100,000 people a year die from infections they acquire in a hospital.

And that's just from materials in a hospital not being clean.

So the biggest challenge is actually the challenge we're solving and that's the cost to manufacture.

Nano-fabrication is, historically, expensive.

What we have generated is a different type of building.

Right now, we're trying to make everything self-cleaning or as many things self-cleaning as we can.

We're changing the topography or the existing layer that's already there.

And it's got a permanent nanostructure pattern on it that gives you the benefits.

So these are some of the different types of nanostructures that we can imprint and have imprinted using our technique.

We can do different kinds of geometries, nano-grooves, different kinds of shapes.

These types of structures are very good for different kinds of optical applications or for self-cleaning.

In fact, when you put water on these, these are super hydrophobic.

So water will actually bead up and roll off of it.

We're about 200 times cheaper than current methods.

And we're significantly faster.

So we just hope to make nanotexturing available to the masses so that everyone can have access to nanotechnology for absolutely everything we do.