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Pure and Oxidized Copper Materials as Potential Antimicrobial Surfaces for Spaceflight Activities

Hahn, C. and Hans, M. and Hein, C. and Mancinelli, R.L. and Mücklich, F. and Wirth, R. and Rettberg, Petra and Hellweg, Christine E. and Moeller, R. (2017) Pure and Oxidized Copper Materials as Potential Antimicrobial Surfaces for Spaceflight Activities. Astrobiology, 17 (12), pp. 1183-1191. Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. doi: 10.1089/ast.2016.1620. ISSN 1531-1074.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ast.2016.1620


Microbial biofilms can lead to persistent infections and degrade a variety of materials, and they are notorious for their persistence and resistance to eradication. During long-duration space missions, microbial biofilms present a danger to crew health and spacecraft integrity. The use of antimicrobial surfaces provides an alternative strategy for inhibiting microbial growth and biofilm formation to conventional cleaning procedures and the use of disinfectants. Antimicrobial surfaces contain organic or inorganic compounds, such as antimicrobial peptides or copper and silver, that inhibit microbial growth. The efficacy of wetted oxidized copper layers and pure copper surfaces as antimicrobial agents was tested by applying cultures of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus cohnii to these metallic surfaces. Stainless steel surfaces were used as non-inhibitory control surfaces. The production of reactive oxygen species and membrane damage increased rapidly within 1 h of exposure on pure copper surfaces, but the effect on cell survival was negligible even after 2 h of exposure. However, longer exposure times of up to 4 h led to a rapid decrease in cell survival, whereby the survival of cells was additionally dependent on the exposed cell density. Finally, the release of metal ions was determined to identify a possible correlation between copper ions in suspension and cell survival. These measurements indicated a steady increase of free copper ions, which were released indirectly by cells presumably through excreted complexing agents. These data indicate that the application of antimicrobial surfaces in spaceflight facilities could improve crew health and mitigate material damage caused by microbial contamination and biofilm formation. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that cuprous oxide layers were superior to pure copper surfaces related to the antimicrobial effect and that cell density is a significant factor that influences the time dependence of antimicrobial activity.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/115719/
Document Type:Article
Title:Pure and Oxidized Copper Materials as Potential Antimicrobial Surfaces for Spaceflight Activities
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Hahn, C.radiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germany.UNSPECIFIED
Hans, M.Functional Materials, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Hein, C.Inorganic Solid State Chemistry, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Mancinelli, R.L.Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Mücklich, F.Functional Materials, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Wirth, R.Microbiology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, PetraUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Hellweg, Christine E.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2223-3580
Moeller, R.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2371-0676
Journal or Publication Title:Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1183-1191
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Keywords:Contact killing, E. coli, S. cohnii, Antimicrobial copper surfaces, Copper oxide layers, Human health, Planetary protection.
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:07 Dec 2017 13:18
Last Modified:01 Oct 2020 20:43

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