Technique for rapidly killing bacteria using tiny gold disks and light
Researchers have developed a new technique for killing bacteria in seconds using highly porous gold nanodisks and light, according to a study. The method could one day help hospitals treat some common infections without using antibiotics, which could help reduce the risk of spreading antibiotics resistance.
‘We showed that all of the bacteria were killed pretty quickly . . . within 5 to 25 seconds. That’s a very fast process,’ said corresponding author Wei-Chuan Shih, a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department, University of Houston, Texas.
Scientists create gold nanoparticles in the lab by dissolving gold, reducing the metal into smaller and smaller disconnected pieces until the size must be measured in nanometers. Once miniaturized, the particles can be crafted into various shapes including rods, triangles or disks.
Previous research shows that gold nanoparticles absorb light strongly, converting the photons quickly into heat and reaching temperatures hot enough to destroy various types of nearby cells