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'Silver bullet' kills contaminating bugs in the lab

1st April 2013


A two-month environmental study has shown that silver-based BioCote antimicrobial protection, an integral feature of all Stuart benchtop laboratory equipment, reduces bacterial contamination of instrument surfaces by over 96 per cent.

Details of the study, carried out at the University of Birmingham in a laboratory conducting research for Cancer Research UK, are published by Bibby Scientific. Bacterial surface contamination of six BioCote-treated Stuart instruments, such as hotplate stirrers and a mixer, was compared with untreated instruments in the same laboratory. All items included in the study had been in routine use for around 18 months. Swabs from touchpads, switches, casings etc. were collected fortnightly for two months and Total Viable Counts (TVC) were obtained after inoculation and incubation of plate count agar.

Results were, according to Bibby Scientific, dramatic: there was a mean reduction in excess of 96 per cent in the TVC of bacteria contaminating the BioCote-treated equipment, compared with untreated control items in the same environment.

According to Rob Skehens, Marketing Director, Bibby Scientific: 'This important study suggests that BioCote antimicrobial protection has a vital role to play, complementing established GLP and GMP protocols, in ensuring that laboratory environments comply with the highest health and safety standards. While surface disinfection in the laboratory will always be essential, permanent antimicrobial surfaces of instruments represent a powerful weapon against the hazards of lab-acquired infection and contamination of precious experimental or test samples. This is particularly true for surfaces subjected to physical contact with reagents, or repeated hand contact by multiple users.'

Laboratory evidence suggests that BioCote technology, in the form of silver ions, disrupts the bacterial cell membrane function and causes denaturing of vital enzymes within the cell, leading to rapid cell death. Silver ions are slowly released from an inorganic matrix via an ion exchange mechanism, maintaining an effective concentration on or near the surface of the material. Active throughout the useful life of each instrument, BioCote kills a wide range of bacteria and fungi, including MRSA, E. coli, Legionella, Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus niger.

For more information, visit www.bibby-scientific.com

 





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