The increasing number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses challenges not only to physicians, but also to physicists involved in materials engineering. In the fight against dangerous microorganisms, we have gained new allies – these are composite materials capable of spontaneously and continuously killing microorganisms and preventing their colonies from growing. Biocidal nanocomposites have been designed, produced and characterised at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Krakow.
“In the work of our team, we try to apply the idea of ‘reverse physics’. We start not with the substance we want to study to find applications for it, but with the applications themselves. Once we have identified the needs, we precisely design the future material from their point of view, carry out numerical simulations, and then try to synthesise it”, explains Dr Łukasz Laskowski, head of the team at the IFJ PAN.
Biocidal nanocomposites with metal ions are currently manufactured at the IFJ PAN on a laboratory scale, with the possibility of supplying trial quantities for implementation purposes. However, the production technology, which is at the patent stage, can be scaled up to industrial needs without major problems.