Nano-roughness against bacteria

Joint project to fight infections initiated by material scientists and microbiologists from Jena

| by Christine Vogler

Bacteria as found on hospital surfaces. (Source: C. Lüdecke, S. Maenz, K. Jandt/FSU)

Nosocomial infections that are contracted in hospitals affect up to 600.000 people each year in Germany. Many of these infections are caused by bacteria that exist on surfaces in hospitals such as door knobs, catheters or titanium implants (so-called material-associated infections). Novel strategies to fight such infections are urgently required.

A new approach to fight bacteria on material surfaces lies in their roughness. A joint project of the Otto Schott Institute for Material Research at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute tackles this problem. The material scientists and microbiologists discovered that titanium with a certain nano-roughness significantly reduces bacterial adhesion. Prof. Dr. Klaus Jandt and Prof. Dr. Axel Brakhage want to study the interaction between nano-rough titanium and bacteria in a project funded by the German Research Foundation.