Powerful new tools have been introduced to help medical device manufacturers reduce HCAIs among patients and clinicians by SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business. SABIC’s nine new antimicrobial compounds featuring silver technology have been tested for log reduction values – the level of microbes eliminated from a surface – according to the ISO 22196-2007 protocol. They comprise one of the broadest antimicrobial portfolios in the industry and offer distinct advantages over off-the-shelf antimicrobial concentrates combined with third-party resins.
SABIC’s portfolio comprises nine different antimicrobial grades across four product families: LEXAN™ EXL copolymer, LEXAN polycarbonate (PC) resin, XENOY™ PC/polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin and polypropylene (PP) resins with and without fiberglass reinforcement. Five grades have a high antimicrobial effect (log reduction value above 4, representing a 99.99+ percent reduction in pathogens) and four grades have a low antimicrobial effect (log reduction value below 4, representing a 99.0-99.99 percent reduction in pathogens). These options allow customers to select the appropriate formulation depending on whether the end product is a high or low-touch application.
These compounds leverage silver-based antimicrobial technology because silver is a proven performer, well suited to diverse applications and widely accepted as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, with activity against many pathogens including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mold and fungus. Because they are formulated to be effective at the lowest concentration of silver, SABIC resins may also be more cost-effective than competitive products.
The benefits of SABIC compounding over concentrates include uniform distribution of the additive for better performance and less manufacturing waste. By leveraging multiple material characteristics – such as impact resistance, chemical resistance, custom colors and processability – and their interactions with the additive while controlling the compounding process, SABIC can deliver highly specialized performance properties, such as the duration and strength of the antimicrobial. Of particular importance is SABIC’s expertise in color and effects, which allows precise control over clarity, a property that can be impacted by antimicrobials.
Potential applications include fluid and drug delivery applications, surgical instruments, monitoring and imaging devices and durable medical equipment such as hospital beds and operating tables. Other potential applications outside of healthcare include consumer electronics, automobile interiors, business equipment such as copiers or ATMs, or any other surface where there is a desire to reduce the potential transference of pathogens.