Sharklet Technologies is developing a product, capable of being applied to various surfaces, that creates an inhospitable environment for microbe development. The coating could be used as an outer layer for medical instruments, doors, chairs and many other devices to keep harmful bacteria from spreading, hopefully increasing sterility in medical environs and decreasing the risk of acquiring certain diseases and infections.

A few years ago, a scientist discovered that there were no traces of biofouling on nurse sharks and attributed this phenomenon to the unique shape of the dermal denticles within the shark skin. Using the principle of biomimicry, the researcher found that incorporating the same microscopic denticle patterns into medical devices kept microorganisms from gathering or growing. Sharklet claims their technology reduces bacteria, helps wounds heal, and is more effective than antibiotics.