New silicone material can kill bacteria in light and dark

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Scientists from University College London have developed a light-activated anti-microbial material which also kills bacteria in the dark.

The material is made from a combination of two dyes, called crystal violet and methylene blue, and tiny gold particles on a silicone surface. The addition of the dyes and nanogold did not change the other features of silicon, such as its water repellant qualities. When introduced to even the modest light of a normal fluorescent light bulb, the material was able to kill an entire sample of bacteria within three to six hours, depending on the type of bacteria. Even in the dark, the material killed the bacteria within a three to 18 hour period. Researchers hope the material will be able to be used in a hospital setting, where a variety of bacteria can become deadly.

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