Research paper| Volume 24, ISSUE 4, P201-207, November 2019

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Use of silicon nanoparticle surface coating in infection control: Experience in a tropical healthcare setting


      • SN coating reduced the bioburden on both low and high contamination surfaces.
      • Effect of SN coating on environmental surfaces becomes more prominent with time.
      • Isolation of Acinetobacter species from SN coated surfaces was significantly reduced.



      A nano-scale surface coating containing silicon nanoparticles (Bacterlon®) creates a hydrophobic surface which prevents the growth of bacteria. Study objective was to evaluate the performance of this silicon nano-coating in Sri Lankan healthcare setting.


      This prospective study was conducted from September 2015 to December 2015 in an Intensive Care Unit and a medical ward in Base Hospital Homagama and a bacteriology laboratory in Medical Research Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Silicon nanoparticle coating was applied to 19 high touch surfaces from those three sites. During the follow-up period, these test sites and non-coated control sites were used for routine work and were cleaned routinely as per institute protocol. Swabbing was done for coated and non-coated sites once a week for 12 weeks at unannounced times. Surfaces were categorized in to low (≤10 CFU/cm2) and high (>10–99 CFU/cm2) contamination by Aerobic Bacterial Count (ABC) in non-coated sites at any given time.


      In low and high contaminated surfaces, an improvement in the mean percentage bioburden reduction from 36.18% to 50.16% was observed from 4th week to 12th week with silicon nanoparticles and a significant reduction (p < 0.05) was seen in ABC in each of the coated surface compared with their non-coated counterpart by the 12th week. The frequency of isolation of Acinetobacter spp. on coated surfaces had a significant reduction (p < 0.01).


      Silicon nanoparticle coating demonstrates a significant reduction of the bacterial bioburden in low and high contaminated surfaces for 12 weeks in a tropical healthcare setting.


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