Texture of Shark's Skin Inspires a Unique Approach to Bacteria Control for Healthcare, University of Florida Study

Published: Dec 13, 2012

The insides of these fearsome fish may be harboring drug-resistant bacteria, but apparently, the outsides are doing just the opposite. And now a synthetic surface designed to mimic the bacterial-resistant properties of shark skin is making its way into medical devices and hospitals. University of Florida researcher Anthony Brennan observed the antimicrobial properties of shark denticles about a decade ago while looking for ways to reduce the buildup of algae on submarines. He created a physical surface with microscopic patterns of ridges that mimicked the patterns found on shark skin, hoping it would inhibit microorganism growth without the use of antimicrobial agents. It’s more efficient to prevent bacteria and algae from growing, he proposed, than to try to kill it.

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