Project

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Kupfer antimikrobiell - Materialien, Verfahren, Biologie

English title Antimicrobial Copper - Materials, Processes, Biology
Applicant Solioz Marc
Number 136073
Funding scheme Interdisciplinary projects
Research institution Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Biochemistry
Start/End 01.06.2011 - 31.05.2013
Approved amount 184'794.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Biochemistry
Material Sciences
Experimental Microbiology
Pharmacology, Pharmacy

Keywords (5)

contact-killing; antimicrobial; hygiene; solid copper; engineered surfaces

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Bacteria, yeast, and viruses are rapidly killed on metallic copper surfaces and the term 'contact-killing' has been coined for this process. While the phenomenon has already been known in ancient times, it is currently receiving renewed attention. This is due to the potential use of copper as an antibacterial material in health care settings. Contact-killing was observed to take place at the rate of seven to eight logs per hour or even minutes and no live microorganisms were generally recovered from copper surfaces after prolonged incubation. The antimicrobial activity of copper and copper alloys is now well established and copper has recently been registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the first solid antimicrobial material. In several clinical studies, copper has been evaluated for use on touch-surfaces such as door handles, bathroom fixtures, or bed rails, in attempts to curb nosocomial infections. In connection to these new applications of copper, it becomes of importance to understand the mechanism of contact-killing as it may bear on central issues, such as the possibility of the emergence and spread of resistant organisms, cleaning procedures, and questions of material and object engineering. The current project deals with the microbiological mechanisms which underlie the contact-killing on the molecular scale, and the development of model surfaces, which provide specific, antimicrobially relevant properties. The exact killing mechanism of copper remains unknown and will be studied in a number of microbiological trials. Several of proteins previously identified as copper resistance components will be investigated in their function. Also, bacteria hyper-resistant to copper will be isolated from mutant libraries and the genes involved will be identified and the function of the encoded proteins will be investigated. To functionalize materials surfaces (adhesion & wetting behavior, locally varying surface potential and ion release), the laser interference technique will be employed, which allows chemical and topographical surface patterning on the scale of the relevant microorganisms (structural scale: 500 nm - 20 µm). Materials with periodically varying surface elements will be developed and employed to characterize the effect of local variations in surface potential on the cell membrane potential.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Contact killing of bacteria on copper is suppressed if bacterial-metal contact is prevented and is induced on iron by copper ions
Mathews S, Hans M, Mücklich F, Solioz M (2013), Contact killing of bacteria on copper is suppressed if bacterial-metal contact is prevented and is induced on iron by copper ions, in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 79(8), 2605-2611.
Lactococcus lactis HemW (HemN) is a haem-binding protein with a putative role in haem trafficking.
Abicht Helge K, Martinez Jacobo, Layer Gunhild, Jahn Dieter, Solioz Marc (2012), Lactococcus lactis HemW (HemN) is a haem-binding protein with a putative role in haem trafficking., in The Biochemical journal, 442(2), 335-43.
The copper-inducible ComR (YcfQ) repressor regulates expression of ComC (YcfR), which affects copper permeability of the outer membrane of Escherichia coli.
Mermod Mélanie, Magnani David, Solioz Marc, Stoyanov Jivko V (2012), The copper-inducible ComR (YcfQ) repressor regulates expression of ComC (YcfR), which affects copper permeability of the outer membrane of Escherichia coli., in Biometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicin, 25(1), 33-43.
Genome sequence of Desulfovibrio sp. A2, a highly copper resistant, sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from effluents of a zinc smelter at the Urals.
Mancini Stefano, Abicht Helge K, Karnachuk Olga V, Solioz Marc (2011), Genome sequence of Desulfovibrio sp. A2, a highly copper resistant, sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from effluents of a zinc smelter at the Urals., in Journal of bacteriology, 193(23), 6793-4.
Copper toxicity and the origin of bacterial resistance--new insights and applications.
Dupont Christopher L, Grass Gregor, Rensing Christopher (2011), Copper toxicity and the origin of bacterial resistance--new insights and applications., in Metallomics : integrated biometal science, 3(11), 1109-18.
Genome sequence of Desulfosporosinus sp. OT, an acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacterium from copper mining waste in Norilsk, Northern Siberia.
Abicht Helge K, Mancini Stefano, Karnachuk Olga V, Solioz Marc (2011), Genome sequence of Desulfosporosinus sp. OT, an acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacterium from copper mining waste in Norilsk, Northern Siberia., in Journal of bacteriology, 193(21), 6104-5.
Stress Responses of Lactic Acid Bacteria
Effie Tsakalidou (2011), Stress Responses of Lactic Acid Bacteria, Springer Verlag, Heidelberg.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Bochum University Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Biometals Conference 15.07.2012 Brussels, Belgium
Workshop on copper homeostasis 09.05.2012 Dresden, Germany


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Group Meeting on Contact Killing 25.04.2013 Saarbruecken, Germany
Workshop on antimicrobial copper by the International Copper Association 27.10.2011 Munich, Germany


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Warum sterben Bakterien auf Kupferoberflächen? International 19.03.2013
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Copper kills bacteria - The end of hospital-acquired infections? Internet International 22.08.2011
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Il rame... chi l'avrebbo detto? Internet International 04.08.2011

Awards

Title Year
Helmholtz Fellow 2012

Use-inspired outputs


Start-ups

Name Year

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