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While the presence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs remains a global concern, researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, may have discovered a pivotal breakthrough to neutralizing the threat — a self-cleaning transparent plastic wrap that repels all bacteria, as reported by Vet Candy.

The chemically-enhanced plastic is cheap to produce, durable and flexible enough to be shrink-wrapped onto high-touch surfaces such as door handles and railings. Combining cutting-edge chemistry with nano-scale engineering, the wrap contains microscopic wrinkles that deflect liquid and bacteria upon contact. 

Capable of diffusing the spread of C. diff, MRSA, Salmonella, E. coli and other high-risk illnesses, engineers/developers Leyla Soleymani and Tohid Didar believe the invention can make a significant difference across sectors such as hospitality, healthcare food packaging and more. The McMaster’s Institute for Infectious Disease Research collaborated with the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy to develop the concept. 

“We can see this technology being used in all kinds of institutional and domestic settings,” says Didar. “As the world confronts the crisis of ani-microbial resistance, we hope it will become an important part of the anti-bacterial toolbox.”

The plastic has already been successfully tested against MRSA and Pseudomonas, with the anti-transfer capabilities also being verified via electron microscopic imaging. Up next for the researchers is introducing the wrap into the marketplace, hoping to partner with commercial entities that will best utilize the technology.  

McMaster University isn’t the only educational establishment developing self-cleaning technology. Researchers at Penn State University recently a designed molecularly-grafted toilet coating that repels bacteria and sludge. Read more on the water-saving application here.