Bacteria love moist surfaces. Once they have settled there, they do not live as solitary organisms but form larger communities that are embedded in a protective film. These biofilms are found on various surfaces and can lead to contact infections. The bacteria are often persistent and defy the body’s own immune system or chemical biocides. Current research approaches are therefore trying to prevent bacterial colonization of material surfaces or at least to make it more difficult. A team of researchers has now developed a new approach using ceria nanoparticles.