Shanghai researchers develop bacteria-fighting paper

A new form of paper with the built-in ability to fight disease-causing bacteria could have applications ranging from anti-bacterial bandages to food packaging that keeps food fresher for longer.

Chunhai Fan and colleagues at the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics in China made sheets of the paper from graphene oxide and then tried to grow bacteria and human cells on top. While bacteria were unable to grow on the paper, it had little adverse effect on human cells.

’Given the superior antibacterial effect of graphene oxide and the fact that it can be mass produced and easily processed to make freestanding and flexible paper at a low cost, we expect this new carbon nanomaterial may find important environmental and clinical applications,’ said the researchers.

A report about the new material, which can be conveniently fabricated from a suspension via simple vacuum filtration, appeared recently in monthly journal ACS Nano.