Material which kills microorganisms on its own

March 2, 2020

Imagine that you have stuff which kills bacteria, viruses and fungi on its own and does not need any antibiotics or aggressive surface treatment like chlorine or strong detergents. Just light, and that’s it!

Scientists from the Polymer Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences are working on such material, and they have finished initial tests showing effect against even antibiotic-resistant bacteria which cause morbidity and mortality in hospitals. Simple exposure to light will sterilize a nurse desk, catheters for intravenous use or switch in the toilets so patients can be exposed to much fewer pathogen microorganisms as they are now and all this without harmful chemical substances. Material modification based on the mixture of polymer with carbon dots is non-toxic and stable over time.

Besides using the material in medicine, one can imagine using it in the food industry or wearables industry where it is essential to keep bad microorganism away.

There is, however, still a long way to go in the development until suitable products are available on the market. On this way, many expertise, money and effort are needed. Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic (MoH) helped via its experts to Zdeno Spitalsky and his team at the Slovak Academy of Sciences to be prepared for the next steps - for transfer of technology and commercialization readiness. Such help at a more systemic level will be provided soon within the newly established BioHub Slovakia ( to more academics and entrepreneurs aiming to turn their ideas and innovations into scalable medicinal products.

Precise work of the researchers and the help of the MoH was then translated to the successful finding of an external commercialization partner, i&i Prague s.r.o. ( i&i Prague scouts and supports the most promising projects with innovative potential in the fields of MedTech, Diagnostics and Drug Discovery from the Central Europe region.

We desperately need innovative solutions in the area of antimicrobial resistance, and this new material can be one of the rifles used to decrease deaths from infections in our hospitals.

It touches all of us without exceptions since the humankind is running out of suitable antibiotics able to fight certain resistant microorganisms. And, in the light of recent virus outbreak from China, effective antimicrobial weapons are highly wanted.