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Smart Surfaces

SMART SURFACES FOR A CLEANER FUTURE

Bacteria can be found almost everywhere; in the air, in water, in the soil and on plants and animals.  You can also find them in your house… on your clothes… and more importantly, ON YOU! Most of the time, we live in harmony with these bacteria, however, under some circumstances they can lead to infections.

In medicine, bacterial infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics, however over-use and misuse of these precious antibiotics has led to the emergence of antibiotic resistant-bacteria known as superbugs.  In a healthcare environment, bacteria on surfaces can be transmitted by touch and passed on from person-to-person as well as person-to-surface.  This spread of bacteria can pose a risk of infection.

Infections caused by superbugs are extremely difficult to treat, and thousands of people die from them each year. As antibiotics are increasingly unable to treat superbug infections an alternative strategy is required.  The focus is shifting to prevention rather than cure. Here at UCL, we are developing smart surfaces that can kill bacteria either through light or are able to self-clean to reduce our future dependence on antibiotics