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Using Copper Protection-Antimicrobial against Superbugs

Copper Protection gainst AntimicrobialAntibiotic-resistant superbugs are a very real concern for both the healthcare industry and public health in general. As diseases like E. coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), or strep become resistant to common, safe treatments, healthcare providers will find themselves either forced to use more dangerous medications or be stuck trying to minimize symptoms but unable to eliminate the root cause. The emergence of bacteria resistant to carbapenems—one of the drugs used as a last resort—scientists are scrambling more than ever to find new medicines. This is why it is better to take steps that can protect patients from getting these infections in the first place rather than chance having to deal with a resistant strain.

One of the most effect ways to provide this preventative protection is to use copper alloy coatings in healthcare facilities. In conjunction with standard sanitation, sterilization, and cleaning policies, copper coatings like Aereus Shield™ can kill most bacteria on contact.

How Antimicrobial Copper Helps Prevent Disease

A bacterium’s membrane is held together by electrical bonds. Copper molecules are highly conductive. When the two are in contact, copper will disrupt the electrical bonds that hold a bacterial membrane together. Then, when the copper inevitably oxidizes in response to moisture in the air, it will pull apart pieces of the membrane in an attempt to regain the electrons it lost from oxidizing. In the event that the ruptured membrane does not kill the bacteria, the inevitable rush of copper ions (and subsequent copper poisoning) will.

Aereus Shield™ employs a copper coating that triggers this lethal chain of events in 99.99% of bacteria, killing resistant and non-resistant pathogens alike.

Using Copper Surfaces to Prevent Hospital Infection

The people who are most vulnerable to serious bacterial infection are the elderly, anyone with an impaired or compromised immune system, those dealing with surgical wounds or other large injuries, people with inbound medical devices (catheters, IVs, etc.), and anyone who’s immune system is being taxed by another ongoing disease. All of these individuals are commonly present in hospitals and no matter how stringent the precautions, there will always be an influx of bacteria from visitors, staff, food, and more.

Some of the biggest vectors of infection are what are known as “touch surfaces.” Unsurprisingly, these are surfaces that the patient will come into contact with or that will touch devices later used on a patient. The handrails on a hospital bed, a doorknob, a surgical tray, or even the counter a syringe is briefly placed on all count as touch surfaces. This is where copper coatings like Aereus Shield™ come into play. By applying an antimicrobial copper coating to common touch surfaces, an additional layer of protection is provided to healthcare patients and workers alike.

Aereus Technologies is a Canadian biotech company headquartered in Burlington, Ontario. Our research and development into copper alloy-based technology has resulted in the antimicrobial coating Aereus Shield™. Contact us at 888-633-8460 to learn more about antimicrobial surfaces and how Aereus Shield™ can help enhance healthcare safety.

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Michelle Berelowitz

Michelle Berelowitz has 15+ years commercializing technology start-ups in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor with strong strategic, operational and management skills within both publicly traded and technology based start-up companies. Michelle has a background in manufacturing, ICT and biotech combined with degrees in political science, finance &strategic management and Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology from the University of Waterloo.