A German company called Nanopool has developed liquid glass technology (SiO2 ultra thin glass layering technology), which can be used to keep hospitals cleaner and, thus, help limit hospital-acquired infections. Liquid glass allows for an extremely thin layer (100nm) of the solution to be applied to just about any surface and prohibits microbes from multiplying when they land on the surface, causing an antibacterial effect.
On hard surfaces, a bacterial adhesion test indicated that silica nanoparticles inhibit growth of Gram-negative Escherichia coli (96.6%), Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (98.5%), and Deinococcus geothermalis (99.6%). Furthermore, according to Nanopool, surfaces coated with liquid glass are easier to clean and reduce maintenance costs by up to 40%.
Liquid glass is just starting to be used in Europe and Asia, and it may be a few years before it enters the U.S. market. However, with payors not reimbursing hospitals for preventable infections, any technology that lowers the risk of infection and costs of maintainenace is a good investment.