Sharklet-patterned adhesive films are designed to be deployed in many environments, including hospitals. This study places Sharklet film in key areas of a simulated hospital room and measured transference between stations.
Environmental contamination contributes to an estimated 20-40% of all hospital acquired infections (HAI). Infection control practices continue to improve, but multipronged approaches are necessary to fully combat the diversity of nosocomial pathogens and emerging multidrug resistant organisms. The Sharklet™ micropattern, inspired from the microtopography of shark skin, was recently shown to significantly reduce surface contamination but has not been evaluated in a clinical setting. The focus of this study was the transfer of bacteria onto micropatterned surfaces compared to unpatterned surfaces in a clinical simulation environment involving healthcare practitioners.
In a healthcare setting, micro-patterned films applied to high-touch environmental surfaces would likely experience physical wear and oily residue from hand contact. This study demonstrates that the previously studied Sharklet micro-pattern offers significant bacterial inhibition even after being pre-conditioned by physical wear like fingernail scratches and hand lotion residue. In addition, the recently engineered 10×2 Sharklet micro-pattern offers improved optical clarity and is just as effective in reducing microbial colonization as the 2×2 pattern. The results suggest that the 10×2 pattern could be effective for reducing surface contamination on hand-held devices, monitors, and other screens that could harbor bacteria in a healthcare setting.