This paper reports the fabrication methodology and characterization results for an electrically activated silver-polymer-based antibacterial surface with primary applications in preventing indirect contact transmission of infections. The surface consists of a micro-scale grating pattern of alternate silver electrodes and SU-8 partitions with a minimum feature size of 20 νm, and activated by an external voltage. In this study, prototype coupons (15 mm × 15 mm) of the antibacterial surface were fabricated on silicon substrates using two sets of lithographies, and analyzed for their physical characteristics using microscopy and surface profilometry. The prototypes were also electrically analyzed to determine their current-voltage characteristics, and hence silver ion (Ag +) release concentrations. Finally, they were tested for their antibacterial efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive) and Escherichia coli (Gram-negative) using a newly engineered microbiological testing procedure. The antibacterial efficacy testing results show significant reductions in the number of viable organisms of both the species after 45 min of testing with 15 νA system current. Due to the growing incidences of hospital-acquired infections and rising treatment costs, study and application of such alternative antibacterial systems in critical touch-contact and work surfaces (e.g., door push plates, countertops, medical instrument trays) for healthcare environments has become essential.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering