30 October 2006
Antibacterial wallpaper suitable for use in hospitals has been developed by a team of Taiwanese researchers.
The news is reported in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Green Chemistry.
Dr Yong-Chien Ling and colleagues from the National Tsing Hua University have found a way of coating paper with zinc oxide nanoparticles using ultrasound.
The coated paper has antibacterial activity, tests against E.Coli have revealed.
Dr Ling said: "The paper could be used on hospital walls - particularly in operating theatres, as well as residential complexes.
"The coating approach could also be extended to textiles to generate suits with antibacterial properties to combat bioterrorism.
"Using ultrasound as a coating method is simpler than mechanical methods. It is also cheaper, uses less material, avoids waste and uses water as the solvent."
Paper fibres (top) and coated with zinc oxide nanoparticles (bottom); insert showing nanoparticles
Dr Ling believes there are many future applications of the coated paper, from security paper for optical communications to sensors.
His team now plans to study the long term stability of the coated paper and to find ways to prevent it being stained by certain volatile chemicals.
with thanks to Elinor Richards for the original article
K Ghule, A V Ghule, B-J Chen and Y-C Ling, Green Chem., 2006
Zinc oxide nanoparticles have been coated onto paper, giving it an antibacterial surface suitable for use as wallpaper in hospitals.
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