'Black Silicon,' a medical technology advancement from researchers at Swinburne University of Technology, could drastically improve the safety of surgically implanted medical equipment.
When a medical device like a pacemaker is inserted in a patient, the patient's cells look to push up against the surface of the device. However, bacteria does the same, and if too much bacteria ends up on the device, it can cause complications. Black Silicon is a nanosurface that kills bacteria without affecting human cells, preventing such complications from accruing.
The Black Silicon kills bacteria by using microscopic "nails" that are a fraction of the size of even a human cell. Since bacteria cells are far smaller than human cells, they get punctured and destroyed by the nails while the human cells are left unscathed.