Frequently used surfaces in hospitals or other public places are prone to host a multitude of germs. While most are harmless, others can adversely affect our health and result in serious diseases. Our iGEM project tackles the problem of contaminated surfaces with a novel bio-based antimicrobial coating.
The Anti Germ Coating was produced by establishing the production of antimicrobial compounds rhamnolipids and nisin as well as chitosan in suitable host organisms. The resulting coating exhibits antimicrobial properties and prevents the growth of germs.
Team Stuttgart accepted the challenge! We created new ideas, BioBricks… in the 2018 iGEM season!
The Anti Germ Coating
Our project aim was the development and formation of an antimicrobial surface coating. To achieve that, we wanted to introduce the production of the antimicrobial substances nisin (peptide), rhamnolipid (glycolipid) and chitosan (biopolymer) in Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas putida. Combining these substances by linking the antimicrobial educts to a chitosan scaffold we planned to form a product suitable for application.
The resulting coating should be usable in places affected by frequent contact with germs like door handles or various surfaces in hospitals. Application of our coating, The Anti Germ Coating (TAGC), is supposed to reduce or inhibit the growth of germs. TAGC should exhibit the same or even enhanced antimicrobial properties as the individual substances and prevent the growth as well as attachment of germs to surfaces of any kind.
Contaminated surfaces allow germs, including pathogens, to spread easily. Affected surfaces can be found not only in hospitals where the proliferation of resistant germs is a major problem but also in public places (e.g. schools, workplaces, on handholds, railings and more). Already existing methods to prevent the spread of these germs are often based on metals such as silver, copper or titanium. These methods are concerning due to their environmental compatibility and cost efficiency. Therefore, a bio-based and effective alternative was developed in this project.