WASHINGTON, D.C., (Oct. 19, 2010) -- The prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections is well known, causing an estimated 19,000 deaths and $3-4 billion in healthcare costs per year in the U.S. What is less well known is that this increased infection and resistance rate has not been met with a simultaneous development of novel antimicrobial and antibiotic agents; in fact, only three classes of antibiotics have been developed since the 1950s.
To address this need, scientists at the University of New Mexico are working on a new type of antimicrobial surface that is inhospitable to MRSA but won't harm people or animals. Their results will be presented today at the AVS 57th International Symposium & Exhibition, which takes place this week at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.
The new polymer-type material, "conjugated polyelectrolyte" (CPE) with an arylene-ethynylene repeat-unit structure, has been effective at killing Gram-negative bacteria, enabling its use in a wide range of potential applications. For instance, certain "light-activated" CPEs are inert toward bacteria in the absence of light, and display bacteria-killing activity with the addition of light. This opens up many potential applications, including the possibility of using these polymers as antibacterial countertops that may be sterilized using regular fluorescent lights.
Until recently, it was unknown if the CPEs would exhibit similar biocidal activity toward mammalian cells. In-vitro testing performed on these CPEs at the University of New Mexico is an important first step in determining whether they are harmful to humans at concentrations envisioned in potential applications. In a poster presented today at the AVS Conference, Kristin Wilde will present the results.
The paper, "In Vitro Cytotoxicity Studies of Antimicrobial Conjugated Polyelectrolytes" is at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 21, 2010.
MORE INFORMATION FOR JOURNALISTS
The AVS 57th International Symposium and Exhibition is being held October 17-22, 2010, at the Albuquerque Convention Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meeting includes more than 1,200 talks and posters presented in more than 130 technical sessions. All meeting information, including directions to the Convention Center, can be found at:
REGISTRATION -- Staff reporters and professional freelance journalists working on assignment are invited to attend the conference free of charge. Journalist registration instructions can be found at:
The AVS press room will be located in East Lobby of the Albuquerque Convention Center. Press room hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The phone number there is 408-205-0595. Press Kits containing company product announcements and other news will be available on CD-ROM in the press room. Also access the online press room at: http://www2.
Complete Program: http://www2.
Searchable abstracts: http://www.
Topical Conferences: http://www2.
Meeting Home Page: http://www2.
The plenary talk, "Carbon Nanotubes and Single Sheet Graphene," which will be at noon on Monday, October 18, 2010 in Ballroom B of the Albuquerque Convention Center. See: http://www2.
AVS promotes communication, dissemination of knowledge, recommended practices, research, and education in a broad range of technologically relevant topics. One way that it does this is by offering special tutorials in areas such as:
- Graphene Tutorial (Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00-5:00 p.m.)
- Tutorial on Nanoparticle Characterization and Toxicity: Significant Challenges and Critical Needs (Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00-5:00 p.m.)
To access the complete descriptions of these special tutorials, see:
As a professional membership organization, AVS fosters networking within the materials, processing, and interfaces community at various local, national or international meetings and exhibits throughout the year. AVS publishes four journals, honors and recognizes members through its prestigious awards program, offers training and other technical resources, as well as career services.