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Mar 11
2019

Using Stained Glass to Kill Bacteria

Posted by: Jim Lillie

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Jim Lillie

Using Stained Glass to Kill Bacteria

The news that stained glass can get rid of certain kinds of bacteria that cause infections naturally brings to mind questions about whether sitting in church for hours -- in the path of light streaming through stained-glass windows -- would be good for a person.

The recent study about potential health benefits from colored glass doesn't delve into that area, but it does point hopefully toward remedies that could entirely kill deadly hospital-type infections within mere hours.

And that's worth both a Hallelujah and Amen.

Scientists at Aston University announced that they had discovered a method resembling the manufacture of medieval-era stained glass that could completely eradicate the deadly bacterial infections Candida albicans (an infection that is connected with surgery) and E.coli. The technique, which uses "bioactive phosphate glass" with metallic cobalt, can also nearly kill Staphylococcus aureus, related to MRSA, which has thus far proved drug-resistant.

Dr. Richard Martin, who led the research team, said in a press release that the study's finding offered "significant implications", including the possibility of inexpensive antimicrobial coatings and implants that could fight common kinds of infections arising from medical treatment.

It's also believed that bioactive glass could prove useful in combatting so-called "superbugs", which tend to resist drug therapies, thereby effectively addressing the mounting problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The researchers first made glass according to ancient methods and then ground down the finished product into fine powder, placing it into Petri dishes populated with bacteria.

Dishes with the highest levels of the glass killed E.coli within a matter of six hours, with 24 hours needed to achieve the same effect with C.albicans. A 24-hour period also resulted in reducing S.aureus by 99%.

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