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Sharklet Micropattern: The New Antimicrobial Technology

Sharklet, the first antimicrobial technology based solely on micropattern, is developed by Sharklet Technologies, Inc. and is one of the countless innovations in the field of biomimicry. Founder Dr. Anthony Brennan was inspired by the ability of sharks’ skin to repel fouling organisms while on his search for a solution to reduce the use of antifouling agents on Navy ships. Further probing revealed that the shark skin denticles are indeed the structural factor responsible in inhibiting bacterial growth. The discovery of the antimicrobial properties of the micropattern has since then led to its incorporation into medical devices to control pathogens.

Features of Sharklet

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The shark skin denticles (left) and the Sharklet micropattern (left). Credit: Sharklet Technologies, Inc.

The Sharklet micropattern imitates shark skin which has microscopic features in an uniform length and diamond pattern. Such pattern was shown to be high energy-consuming for bacteria to colonize, thereby resistant to biofilms. Sharklet’s researchers has demonstrated its ability in inhibition of pathogens including S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, VRE, E. coli and MRSA. The most astonishing discovery lies in that Sharklet is a natural solution and structure alone determines its antibacterial properties, with no chemicals or antibiotics involved. Various Sharklet micropatterns have been patented relating to their uses.

Sharklet’s Patented Medical Device Applications

Striving to improve human health, Sharklet Technologies, Inc. has collaborated with various renowned medical device manufacturers to incorporate the Sharklet micropattern to improve and invent non-toxic, microtopography based products. Some fo the products are Sharklet Foley Catheter with micropatterned surface that reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infection risks; the Sharklet endotracheal tube that controls bacterial biofilm; Sharklet patterned central venous catheter (CVC) which protect against catheter-related bloodstream infections; the ClearSightTM Intraocular Lens (IOL) that uses Sharklet membrane to control cell migration resulting in posterior capsular opacification (PCO)  and Sharklet’s own adhesively-backed films for bacterial inhibition on environmental surfaces.

Kudos to the team at Sharklet Technologies, Inc. for this new, natural antimicrobial technology that is one of the greatest innovation to-date in controlling pathogens thereby improving human health.

Source: CNN, Sharklet Technologies, Inc.