Researchers at Northwestern University have found a new bacterial coating made from Green Tea and Salt. They discovered new ways of utilizing the properties of naturally occurring polyphenols found in green tea, red wine and dark chocolate in this study. By dissolving polyphenol powders in water with a small amount of salt instantly they found that the effect produces transparent coatings that kill bacteria on contact. This coating also has antioxidant qualities and are non-toxic. The sticky nature of polyphenols and the low cost of materials could open the door to a wide range of uses for these coatings.Apparently the coatings can stick to virtually any surface, even Teflon, and are only 20 to 100 nanometers thick, potentially making them ideal for use in a whole range products.
Phillip B. Messersmith, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, spoke on this project,
“We discovered a way to apply coatings onto a variety of surfaces that takes advantage of the sticky properties of the polyphenol compounds. It’s a very simple dip-coating process, and the antibacterial and antioxidant properties are preserved in the coating. One could take a stainless-steel hip implant apply the process to it, and the coating that emerges spontaneously and with no other modifications will kill bacteria and quench reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals.”
Polyphenols are naturally occurring molecules found in many plants that also give some flowers, fruits, and vegetables their color. They are antioxidants that can reverse problems caused by oxidative stress to artery walls and their anti-inflammatory properties are said to help relieve chronic pain in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
This is a great step forward in research – especially in the number of diseases it can prevent. To think that something in tea could do all that is amazing and definitely something to raise a cuppa to.