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Christmas Trees Could Be Used To Help Sterilize Medical Devices

Posted By Morgana Matus On January 3, 2013 @ 12:20 pm In Botanical,Design for Health,Eco-Inspiration,green technology | No Comments

douglas fir, needles, bionanocomposite, sterilize, medical devices, nano devices [1]
Photo via Shutterstock [2]

As holiday decorations are being packed up and New Years resolutions are being scribbled down, millions of Christmas trees across the country are headed to the landfill or the wood chipper. But not so fast! That stately conifer could be put to good use in the field of medicine. A paper published in theĀ  in the International Journal of Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology [3]show evidence that the needles of Pseudotsuga menziesii, aka the Douglas fir [4], may be able to help sterilize nano devices destined for the human body.


douglas fir, needles, bionanocomposite, sterilize, medical devices, nano devices [5]

A team of researchers led by chemist Poushpi Dwivedi of MNNIT [6] in Allahabad, India are in the process of developing a compound derived from the needles of the Douglas fir to help coat nano medical devices and combat infection. One of the largest hurdles for biomedical devices is that despite advances in sterilization techniques, bacteria can still invade implant sites, prosthetics, and tissues. The bionanocomposite from the Douglas fir could potentially cover implants and ward off microbial growth.

Combining an extract from from the Douglas fir needles with silver nitrate solution, the team has created silver nanoparticles that can then be dispersed in a chitosan polymer to make a coating. The needle extract serves as a natural chemical reducing agent that converts the silver ions in the nitrate solution into tiny nanoscopic silver metal particles. So, as you vacuum the last remnants of the Christmas season from your living room floor, say a small “thank you” to your tree, as it may some day play a large part in saving your life.

+ MNNIT [6]

Via Science Daily [7]

Images via Wikicommons users Geograph Bot [8] and Magnus Mankse [9]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/christmas-trees-could-be-used-to-help-sterilize-medical-devices/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/christmas-trees-could-be-used-to-help-sterilize-medical-devices/christmas-tree-farm/

[2] Shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=douglas+fir+christmas+tree&search_group=&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1#id=42189730&src=a9329cf88125d90f64e997e80aa53331-1-2

[3] International Journal of Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology : http://www.inderscience.com/jhome.php?jcode=ijbnn

[4] Douglas fir: http://www.arborday.org/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?id=44

[5] Image: http://inhabitat.com/christmas-trees-could-be-used-to-help-sterilize-medical-devices/doulgas-fir-needles/

[6] MNNIT: http://www.mnnit.ac.in/

[7] Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130102140445.htm

[8] Geograph Bot: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Douglas_Firs_-_geograph.org.uk_-_581847.jpg

[9] Magnus Mankse: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Douglas_Fir_branch-750px.JPG

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