Shark Skin May Hold The Key To Safer Hospitals

The ocean plays host to plenty of nightmarish creatures, but people only need to remember one breed to make them wary of a casual dip: sharks. Their fins and teeth alike have inspired fear for ages, and only the bravest have dared to approach them. As it turns out, the bravest may have been on to something; thanks to sharks, hospitals and the patients inside them might be in for relief.

Hospitals make it a point to promote cleanliness, but even their best efforts cant take care of every bacterium and the infections they cause. Its a problem that can lead to more illness and even death; as a result, scientist Anthony Brennan and Sharklet Technologies CEO Mark Spiecker used inspiration from sharks to find a solution. Close examination reveals that sharks actually have ridged, diamond-patterned skin that lets them stay clean no matter what. Sharklet used that knowledge to create a thin film that not only copies shark skin, but can be placed on other surfaces and reduces bacterial transfer by a whopping ninety-seven percent.

The film is expected to hit the market within the next two years, so its entirely possible that theres more work and fine-tuning to be done. Still, its a promising start to a medical advance even if its from an unlikely source.