WHAT ARE ANTIMICROBIALS? Microbes are tiny, single-celled organisms that can live in almost any environment. They include bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae and protozoa. Some microbes are useful, or even good for your health: foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and cheese are all made using bacteria. But a small percentage -- less than 1 percent -- can cause diseases in humans. Antimicrobials are substances that kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. They can occur naturally or be manmade synthetic compounds. Organic acids and their salts are the most common antimicrobial materials.
ABOUT BIOADHESIVES: Bioadhesives are sticky substances derived from, or based on, molecules produced by living organisms. Often, scientists study them because they seek to mimic the adhesives made by animals like gecko lizards, mussels, and insects. Developing an adhesive able to work underwater or that can be attached and pulled apart repeatedly, without losing stickiness, are features that many scientists seek to imitate. From coverings that attach to a wound and encourage healing to applications that join pieces of wood for carpenters, bioadhesives are being used in many fields of research.