Anti-biofilm coating slips into place

Packaging Professional magazine
10 Sep 2012
Image courtesy of Joanna Aizenberg, Rebecca Belisle and Tak-Sing Wong, SEAS.

A coating that prevents bacteria biofilms forming on food processing and packaging machinery and surfaces is under development at Harvard University.

Biofilms are hard-to-remove pathogens that form as a tough surface skin and are resistant to sanitising methods, becoming a constant source for contamination. More commonly, they can get stuck on machinery and other surfaces in packaging manufacturing plants. The slippery-liquid infused porous surface (SLIPS) creates a lubricating layer that bacteria cannot attach to. The US researchers say SLIPS is currently suitable for industrial metals such as aluminium.

Tests revealed the technology prevents 99.6% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm attachment over a seven-day period, as well as Staphylococcus aureaus by 97.2% and E. coli by 96%, under both static and physiologically realistic flow conditions.