July 28, 2017

Applying Shark Science to Human Health

Viewers of the Discovery Channel’s highly anticipated Shark Week may not know about the different role sharks play aside from teeth-thrashing and jaw-clamping they see on television.
By Jennifer Barrett

3.  Hospital Infections
To prevent hospital-acquired infections and minimize the need for antibiotics, a team of researchers studied the use of shark skin to reduce contaminated surfaces.3 Because of its roughness and certain properties, shark skin is able to deter organisms from attaching to the skin surface.

The team, from Sharklet Technologies, tested the strategy in a study that used a shark-inspired micropattern based on the microscopic surfaces seen on shark skin, making it difficult for bacterial attachment.

Using this same micropattern to treat surfaces in a hospital setting contaminated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus reduced transmission of bacteria by 97% compared to copper, a common antimicrobial surface.

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