Christmas tree needles can deliver nanocoatings that sterilize medical implants

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) buds

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) buds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ho, ho, ho, nano. Santa Claus dropped off news of a study in India that shows the needles from your Christmas tree may be useful to sterilize nano medical devices.

Scientists used extract of Douglas fir needles to create nanoparticles that were then used to create an “antimicrobial, self-sterilizing composite material…essentially a silver/chitosan bionanocomposite” [that’s bio-nano-composite]. The material can be used to safely coat medical implants and surgical devices to prevent bacteria from growing. Bacterial infection at the site of implanted devices, prosthetics and sensors is “one of the most troubling problems in biomedicine,” according to the article in Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

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