Silver nano coated air filter for ‘instantaneous sterilization’ developed

Song Joon-yeong Sep 22, 2014

A technology to instantly kill pathogens by coating an air filter with silver nano compound has been developed. With instantaneous sterilizing effect and stable adhesion verified, this technology is evaluated to have proposed a possibility of silver nano compound commercialization.

A team led by Dr. Wu Gyeong-ja from Molecular Recognition Research Center of Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced on the 21st that it had developed a silver nano compound coated air filter capable to remove antibiotics tolerant pathogens, such as super bacteria. This air filter produced an ability to collect bacteria by more than 95% and to remove bacteria by more than 99.99%.

The instantaneous sterilizing effect is the biggest strength. There had been air filters coated with silver nano antibacterial substances in the past. However, the nano particles were too small, and thus it required time for these air filters to remove pathogens. The research team solved this problem by increasing the size of nano particles to 30 nanometers (nm), which is optimized to sterilization.

As a result of observing reactions between the silver nano compound and viruses, such as staphylococcus and E.coli, using an electron microscope, the team confirmed that these viruses died instantly as soon as they got in contact with the compound.

The solid compound structure is also suitable for commercialization as an air filter coating agent. The silver nano compound stayed attached even in the wind blowing at a speed of 2m or more per second. In general, the velocity of strong wind from an air conditioner is around 1.5 ? 2m/ sec.

“This will serve as a starting point for settling the controversy over antibacterial power of silver nano particles,” said a member of the research team. “Pathogens are killed instantaneously as soon as they get in contact with silver nano compound. So, this technology can also be used in eliminating pathogens that have tolerance, such as super bacteria.”

The study outcome was selected for the cover of the October 21 issue of ‘Journal of Materials Chemistry B,’ which is published by the Royal Society of Chemistry of the U.K. This study was conducted as part of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning’s nano and material source technology development project and KIST’s independent project.

Song Joon-yeong | songjy@etnews.com

`즉각 멸균` 은나노 코팅 에어필터 기술 개발

에어필터에 은나노 복합체를 코팅해 병원균을 즉사시키는 기술이 개발됐다. 즉각적인 멸균 효과와 안정적인 부착력도 확인돼 은나노 복합체 실용화 가능성을 제시했다는 평가다.

우경자 한국과학기술연구원(KIST) 분자인식연구센터 박사팀은 슈퍼박테리아 같은 내성 병원균까지 제거할 수 있는 은나노 복합체 코팅 에어필터를 개발했다고 21일 밝혔다. 개발된 에어필터는 95% 이상의 박테리아 포집력과 99.99% 이상의 박테리아 제거력을 보였다.

즉각적인 멸균 효과가 가장 큰 장점으로 꼽힌다. 은나노 향균 물질이 코팅된 에어필터는 기존에도 있었지만 나노 입자가 너무 미세해 병원균을 제거하는 데 일정 시간이 필요했다. 연구진은 살균에 최적화된 30나노미터(㎚) 크기로 은 나노 입자 크기를 키워 이를 해결했다.

전자 현미경으로 은나노 복합체와 포도상구균?대장균 간 반응을 관찰한 결과 이들 균이 복합체에 닿는 순간 즉사하는 장면이 확인됐다.

견고한 복합체 구조도 에어필터 코팅제로 실용화하기에 적합했다. 초속 2미터 이상 바람에도 은나노 복합체가 떨어지지 않았다. 일반적으로 에어컨 강풍의 풍속은 초속 1.5~2미터 정도다.

연구팀은 “은나노 입자의 향균력에 관한 논란을 잠재우는 단초”라며 “병원균이 은나노복합체에 닿는 순간 즉사하기 때문에 슈퍼박테리아처럼 내성을 갖는 병원균도 제거할 수 있다”고 밝혔다.

연구 결과는 영국 왕립화학회가 출판하는 ‘저널 오브 머티리얼즈 케미스트리 B’ 10월 21일자 표지 논문으로 선정됐다. 연구는 미래창조과학부 나노?소재원천기술개발 사업과 KIST 기관 고유 사업 일환으로 수행됐다.

송준영기자 | songjy@etnews.com

Silver nano coated air filter for ‘instantaneous sterilization’ developed

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