Research Highlights New Material That Kills E.coli in 30 Seconds

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( — January 9, 2023) Orlando, FL — Scientists have been looking into the techniques potentially helpful in fighting E.coli, which is a bacterium responsible for infectious diseases.

Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, feature a new material found to kill the E.coli bacteria within 30 seconds. 

The findings of this peer-reviewed journal were published in Small. 

“The global threat of drug-resistant bacteria has given rise to the urgent need for new materials that can kill and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Our new antimicrobial material could be used in consumer and personal care products to support good personal hygiene practices and prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” said IBN Executive Director, Professor Jackie Y. Ying.

There is an ingredient used to reduce or prevent bacterial infections called triclosan, which is commonly found in products like soaps, toothpaste, and detergents. 

It is important to be warned that triclosan is associated with antibiotic resistance and other adverse health effects. 

The European Union has even restricted it in cosmetics. Further, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is carrying out an ongoing review of this ingredient.

In this research, IBN Group Leader DrYugen Zhang and his team synthesized a certain chemical compound comprised of molecules linked together in a chain. This material is called imidazolium oligomers, and it can kill 99.7 percent of E. coli bacteria within 30 seconds.

It is aided by its chain-like structure, which aids in penetrating the cell membrane and destroying the bacteria. It is worth noting that in contrast, antibiotics only kill the bacteria without destructing the cell membrane. 

Experts say that by leaving the cell structure intact, new antibiotic-resistant bacteria can grow. 

“Our unique material can kill bacteria rapidly and inhibit the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Computational chemistry studies supported our experimental findings that the chain-like compound works by attacking the cell membrane. This material is also safe for use because it carries a positive charge that targets the more negatively charged bacteria, without destroying red blood cells,” said Dr. Zhang.

As the rates of antibiotic resistance continue to increase, more and more researchers are looking into the techniques potentially helpful in fighting it. Reducing the need to use antibiotics is helpful as it is often the cause of antibiotic misuse or overuse.

In doing this, it is vital to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), and one of the ways to combat the infection is to use Divine Bounty D-mannose. D-mannose has long been used as a treatment and preventive remedy for UTIs (

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