Erica Mitchell

Recent Posts

What is the Continuum of Care?

by Erica Mitchell | February 24 2021

Discussions about healthcare often involve the expression "continuum of care." Why is this description becoming more common? What can we learn about the state of healthcare today by unpacking this term? Today's post will explore what is meant by this popular phrase.

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Why Are Lipid Nanoparticles So Important to the COVID-19 Vaccine?

by Erica Mitchell | February 19 2021

A recent federal report and subsequent media coverage has revealed an urgent gap in the supply chain for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine: lipid nanoparticles. Learning about this critical component is an excellent way to learn more about how the mRNA vaccine created by Pfizer and Moderna work. In today's post, we'll look at this important ingredient and steps being taken to make sure production is ramped up.

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 5)

by Erica Mitchell | February 17 2021

After considering a biocide's efficacy, toxicity, kill mechanisms, and bacterial resistance, one must also consider its cost. As with all criteria, it is an issue of balance. If it is an exceptionally effective, broad-spectrum biocide, then a higher cost is tolerable. Add in other benefits and a higher cost becomes even more reasonable. When it comes to silver and copper, the issue of cost in terms of raw materials is obvious. But to do our due diligence, we must look beyond just the raw materials and also look at cost vs. efficacy(and resulting return on investment from additional impact) to see the winner in a clearer light.

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Why You Still Need A Mask After You Get COVID Vaccine

by Erica Mitchell | February 15 2021

As national numbers of COVID vaccinations continue to climb, many of us are wondering when we can finally shed the mask and abandon social distancing. While the vaccine means that returning to normal closer than even, there are three reasons why we have to continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and keep washing hands and surfaces for the time being. 

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 4)

by Erica Mitchell | February 10 2021

Resistance - antibiotic or otherwise - is a game of survival of the fittest. Bacteria strains can be killed by an antibiotic that targets a specific cell mechanism, until a particular bacteria mutates into a strain that is able to survive. Such is the case with MRSA, a strain of Staphylococcus aureus that cannot be killed by methicillin-class antibiotics. But how about resistance to silver and copper as biocides? It turns out that every cell's need for copper makes this metal far, far less likely to cause resistance.

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Building As We Go: Identification, Notification, and Vaccination

by Erica Mitchell | February 5 2021

The sheer number of people who need to get vaccinated and the logistics involved in making that happen has led to frustration and confusion. Some states appear to be doing well, while others are floundering. In many ways, we are building a plane while flying it through the air, subject to turbulence, storms, and surprises along the way. In today's post, we'll look at the three key elements of vaccine roll-out: Identification, Notification, and Vaccination.

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 3)

by Erica Mitchell | February 3 2021

Our bodies are incredible feats of balance, or in biological terms, homeostasis. Completely independent of our conscious minds, our cells are taking in nutrients, reproducing, building proteins, assembling enzymes, all to regulate our organs and systems. Most of the work our bodies perform just needs caloric intake. All the building blocks are there, our systems just need energy. But some of those processes require additional elements that we must ingest specifically for that purpose. These non-organic micronutrients are a variety of metals, since metals' ability to oxidize helps catalyze important biological reactions. But our bodies are not built to tolerate all metals. Some metals can even be toxic. Today we'll explore the relative safety of copper and silver in terms of toxicity to humans.

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A Fungus Among Us: Candida During COVID-19

by Erica Mitchell | January 29 2021

We were making progress against an emergent pathogen long before the newest novel pathogen brought everything to a standstill. Starting a decade ago, health care facilities identified a new superbug, a variant of the Candida Auris species of fungus that was lethal and pernicious. Through careful screening and cleaning protocols, we were beginning to see progress in the spread of this pathogen, but then COVID-19 hit. With all our attention on preventing and treating this novel coronavirus, this fungus has been among us, spreading opportunistically through nursing homes and intensive care units. How can we eject this fungus, once and for all?

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 2)

by Erica Mitchell | January 27 2021

Today's post covers a vital comparison between copper and silver: Their ability to kill harmful bacteria. Biocidal activity - the active destruction of microorganisms at the cellular level - is the fundamental criteria when considering the two metals as possible infection interventions. We will explore under what conditions these metals kill bacteria in both laboratory and real-life settings. 

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 1)

by Erica Mitchell | January 20 2021

Since mankind began using metals, both silver and copper have been used to keep mildew, mold, fungi, and other spoilage at bay. Both metals were even known by the ancients to have anti-infection benefits. We know today that both silver and copper have biocidal properties, and as a result, numerous products have appeared on the marketplace touting these properties as effective in the fight against hospital-acquired infections.  Which is the better choice for use in healthcare facilities? To answer this question, we will compare the two metals across 6 criteria over the coming weeks.  

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© EOS Surfaces and EOScu Blog, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to EOS Surfaces and EOScu Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.