Christmas Tree Needles Could Play Role in Preventing Microbial Growth on Medical Devices

Article

Research published in the International Journal of Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology suggests that the needles of the plant Pseudotsuga menziesii, commonly known as the Douglas fir, could be used to sterilize nano devices destined for medical applications.

Chemist Poushpi Dwivedi of MNNIT in Allahabad, India, and colleagues explain that one of the most troubling problems in biomedicine is bacterial infection at the site of implanted medical devices, prosthetics and sensors. They explain that despite advances in sterilization procedures and aseptic measures pathogenic microbes can still invade biomaterials and tissues. The researchers are developing an antimicrobial, self-sterilizing composite material derived from Douglas fir needles that is essentially a silver/chitosan bionanocomposite that can be used to safely coat medical implants and surgical devices to preclude microbial growth.

The team points out that silver nanoparticles have been tested widely for their potential as antimicrobial agents given that silver is well known to have bactericidal properties. They point out that using biological agents has come to the fore as an efficient and effective way to make novel types of silver nanoparticles with uniform size and shape and biocompatible surfaces for use in medicine. The team has now used an extract from Pseudotsuga menzietii together with silver nitrate solution to generate nanoparticles. These particles can then be readily dispersed in chitosan polymer to make a material that can coat metals and other materials. The plant extract acts as a natural chemical reducing agent to convert the silver ions in the nitrate solution to nanoscopic silver metal particles.

"The size and the percentage of the particles produced can be easily controlled, according to the requirement, by the initial concentration of the metal precursor and volume of the plant biomass," the team explains.

Reference: Potentiality of the plant Pseudotsuga menzietii to combat implant-related infection in the nanoregime. Int. J. Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2012, 2, 187-206.
 

Recent Videos
Andrea Flinchum, 2024 president of the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc (CBIC) explains the AL-CIP Certification at APIC24
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology  (Image credit: APIC)
Lila Price, CRCST, CER, CHL, the interim manager for HealthTrust Workforce Solutions; and Dannie O. Smith III, BSc, CSPDT, CRCST, CHL, CIS, CER, founder of Surgicaltrey, LLC, and a central processing educator for Valley Health System
Jill Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, CRCST, NREMT, CHL
Jill Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, CRCSR, NREMT, CHL, and Katie Belski, BSHCA, CRCST, CHL, CIS
Baby visiting a pediatric facility  (Adobe Stock 448959249 by Rawpixel.com)
Antimicrobial Resistance (Adobe Stock unknown)
Anne Meneghetti, MD, speaking with Infection Control Today
Patient Safety: Infection Control Today's Trending Topic for March
Related Content