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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2001 Aug;33(2):148-52.

Influence of copper-alloying of austenitic stainless steel on multi-species biofilm development.

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  • 1Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology (LabMET), Faculty of Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium.

Abstract

AIMS:

To investigate the bactericidal influence of copper-alloying of stainless steel on microbial colonization.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Inhibition of bacterial adherence was investigated by monitoring (192 h) the development of a multi-species biofilm on Cu-alloyed (3.72 wt%) stainless steel in a natural surface water. During the first 120 h of exposure, lower numbers of viable bacteria in the water in contact with copper-containing steel relative to ordinary stainless steel were observed. Moreover, during the first 48 h of exposure, lower colony counts were found in the biofilm adhering to the Cu-alloyed steel. No lower colony or viable counts were found throughout the remainder of the experimental period.

CONCLUSION:

The presence of Cu in the steel matrix impedes the adhesion of micro-organisms during an initial period (48 h), while this bactericidal effect disappears after longer incubation periods.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The application of Cu-alloyed stainless steels for bactericidal purposes should be restricted to regularly-cleaned surfaces.

PMID:
11472524
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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