Tannin-Based Microbicidal Coatings for Hospital Privacy Curtains

Petri Widsten, Satu Salo, Klaus Niemelä, Hanna Helin, Minna Salonen, Hanna Leena Alakomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The goal of this study was to develop a sustainable, tannin-based option for silver-based and other current antimicrobial solutions for hospital privacy curtains. Commercial tree-derived tannins were characterized and their in vitro antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were determined. Hydrolysable tannins showed greater antibacterial efficacy than condensed tannins but differences in antibacterial efficacy between any of the tannins could not be attributed to their functional group content or molar mass. Outer membrane disruption was not a significant factor in antibacterial efficacy of tannins against E. coli. In a hospital field study, draw patches coated with hydrolysable tannins and affixed to privacy curtains reduced total bacteria count by 60% over eight weeks compared to their matching uncoated reference sides. In a follow-up laboratory study with S. aureus, very light spraying with water improved contact between bacteria and coating, enhancing the antibacterial effect by several orders of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish
Article number187
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • antimicrobial
  • coating
  • curtain
  • E. coli
  • hospital
  • hygiene
  • MRSA
  • S. aureus
  • tannin

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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