The Technology of Sharklet
Healthcare professionals use a variety of tools to combat dangerous infections. These include:
- Personal maintenance – Washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, avoiding contact with eyes and face
- Antibiotics – Powerful medications that kill bacteria
- Chemicals – Sprays and solutions meant to sterilize surfaces
These precautions are effective and work most of the time – but each has a shortfall. The passenger next to you on the train is not as diligent with hand washing as you would hope. The door handle has all sorts of bacteria on the surface, even between cleanings. Antibiotics are effective, but eventually some strains of bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Using chemicals comes with a heavy cost, between their environmentally unfriendly manufacturing and dangerous side effects.
Sharklet is the solution. The antibacterial properties of Sharklet are not a result of harsh chemicals or antibiotics – they are purely structural. This is due to the unique shape and configuration of the Sharklet micropattern.
The Sharklet Micropattern
The primary Sharklet micropattern is very small – about 3 microns tall and 2 microns wide. You cannot see the micropattern with the naked eye and you can’t feel it with your finger, but it’s there, protecting the surface against bacteria and other microorganisms.
There are many variations of the Sharklet pattern that we make. Positive patterns protrude from the surface, and inverse patterns are recessed into the surface of the material. We can also modify the dimensions of the pattern depending on the application. Wider patterns have increased optical clarity due to less diffraction of light. These wider patterns are useful for applications where Sharklet will be covering something that needs to be observed, like a phone screen or a computer monitor in a hospital.
The positive Sharklet micropattern. This specific shape – uniform widths, diamond pattern, shared small feature – are all contributors to Sharklet’s antimicrobial properties
Learn about the research of Dr. Anthony Brennan, the Founder of Sharklet, and how a project to increase the efficiency of the United States Navy turned into a major breakthrough for the control of bacteria.
With billions of years of research under their belt, plants and animals have figured out the most effective strategies. See how Sharklet mimics the design and function of shark skin to help humans.