Prepublication: Surface texture limits transfer of S. aureus, T4 Bacteriophage, Influenza B virus and Human coronavirus

Spread of pathogens on contaminated surfaces plays a key role in disease transmission. Surface technologies that control pathogen transfer can help control fomite transmission and are of great interest to public health. Here, we report a novel bead transfer method for evaluating fomite transmission in common laboratory settings. We show that this method meets several important criteria for quantitative test methods, including reasonableness, relevancy, resemblance, responsiveness, and repeatability, and therefore may be adaptable for standardization. In addition, this method can be applied to a wide variety of pathogens including bacteria, phage, and human viruses. Using the bead transfer method, we demonstrate that an engineered micropattern limits transfer of Staphylococcus aureus by 97.8% and T4 bacteriophage by 93.0% on silicone surfaces. Furthermore, the micropattern significantly reduces transfer of influenza B virus and human coronavirus on silicone and polypropylene surfaces. Our results highlight the potential of using surface texture as a valuable new strategy in combating infectious diseases.

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Surface Micropattern Resists Bacterial Contamination Transferred by Healthcare Practitioners (2014)

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.
You can find the full paper below.

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Evaluating the Feasibility of Reducing Surface Contamination in Healthcare Facilities with Micro-Pattern Films (2011)

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.

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Efficacy of microscopic surface patterning for reducing hospital environmental contamination (2011)

In this six-month hospital study, acrylic film with Sharklet micro-pattern was adhesively mounted onto wall panels  and mounted in six locations in the hospital. Each location also contained smooth control surfaces in an attempt to compare bacterial adhesion between the surfaces. The Sharklet-patterned wall surfaces exhibited over 90% less microbial contamination than the un-modified wall. Additional experiments involving artificial contamination of surfaces also showed the same trends. Read More