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Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Develop New Method To Kill Pathogenic Bacteria Without Antiobiotics or Chemicals

Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method to kill deadly pathogenic bacteria, including listeria, in food handling and packaging. This innovation represents an alternative to the use of antibiotics or chemical decontamination in food supply systems.

Using nature as their inspiration, the researchers successfully attached cell lytic enzymes to food-safe silica nanoparticles, and created a coating with the demonstrated ability to selectively kill listeria—a dangerous foodborne bacteria that causes an estimated 500 deaths every year in the United States. The coating kills listeria on contact, even at high concentrations, within a few minutes without affecting other bacteria. The lytic enzymes can also be attached to starch nanoparticles commonly used in food packaging.


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson Announces the Appointment of Dordick, Who Currently Leads the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Institute


Jonathan S. Dordick, the current director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) and Howard P. Isermann Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been appointed vice president for research, effective today.

“Dr. Dordick brings a wealth of research experience, academic administrative talent, pedagogical leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to the position as we seek to raise the level and impact of our research programs through the next stages of The Rensselaer Plan,” President Jackson said.


President Shirley Ann Jackson To Lead Presentation on Taking Concepts From the University Setting Into Commercial Arenas


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson and three top researchers from the Institute have been invited to deliver an “Ideas Lab” presentation at the World Economic Forum Jan. 25-29 in Davos, Switzerland.

They will give a presentation at 9 a.m. local time Jan. 27, entitled “Concept to Commerce With Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.” The presentation will explain how the transformation of Rensselaer has fueled development of ideas that move from the laboratory into commercial applications, leading to technological and other advances that improve our lives.