“Microbial growth on medical and technical devices is a big health issue, particularly when microorganisms aggregate to form biofilms. Moreover, the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the clinical environment is dramatically growing, making treatment of bacterial infections very challenging. In search of an alternative, we studied a novel antimicrobial surface coating based on micro galvanic elements formed by silver and ruthenium with surface catalytic properties.

The antimicrobial coating efficiently inhibited the growth of the nosocomial pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium as demonstrated by the growth inhibition on agar surface and in biofilms of antibiotic resistant clinical E. faecalis, E. faecium, and S. aureus isolates. It also strongly reduced the growth of Legionella in a drinking water pipeline and of Escherichia coliin urine. We postulate a mode of action of the antimicrobial material, which is independent of the release of silver ions. Thus, the novel antimicrobial coating could represent an alternative to combat microbial growth avoiding the toxic side effects of high levels of silver ions on eukaryotic cells.”

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