University of Bremen developed a ceramic coating which comprises a special microstructure based on chemically inert oxide nanoparticles. Furthermore, the ceramic surface has a biofunctional effect due to a lysozyme which adheres to it. This results in a high grade of strength and resistance and has an extremely effective antimicrobial effect. The new material provides effective surface protection from an environmental and health perspective against abrasion, corrosion and bacterial deposition. It is therefore suitable for use in processes involving the handling and processing of foodstuffs. It offers an alternative to the use of biocides and antibiotics in combating biofilms, and even prevents their formation altogether. In addition to the antimicrobial effect, the surface provides all the advantages of a ceramic coating: strength, mechanical resilience and chemical inertia. By protecting the surface, this ultimately prolongs the service life of the systems, reduces the amount of cleaning required, and leads to cost-savings. Furthermore, the use of the bodys own lysozymes means that the surface is also suitable for coating implants for preventing contamination during operation. Laboratory tests were carried out successfully to check the activity of the lysozymes immobilized on the ceramic surface. For that purpose, a continuous flow system was developed in which harsh ambient conditions were simulated using a supply of model microorganisms and aggressive ingredients. The micro-moulding method is universally applicable on a diverse range of surfaces and geometries. The surface must be adjusted and further developed for the relevant application.
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