Technical Papers Plastics
Developments in anti microbial additives and polymers

Developments in anti microbial additives and polymers

28-Apr-15

Antimicrobial plastics are polymers which are infused with antimicrobial agents or additives to reduce or constrain the growth of microorganisms such as algae, bacteria and fungi on any plastic products to maintain hygiene and its increase shelf life. Besides healthcare, they are used in a variety of applications like construction, packaging, consumer & electronics appliances, business machines and automotive parts, etc.  Several companies are working on developments in anti microbial additives and polymers in this segment
TiFiber, Inc.™ is developing new, high performance materials and products for control of dangerous or detrimental microorganisms including development of a biocompatible, broad-spectrum, antimicrobial additive for the replacement of triclosan, nanosilver and other currently available antimicrobial agents. Initial applications are for personal care products, wound care dressings, medical devices and textiles. This innovative technology provides numerous advantages over currently available products while providing a competitive price point. These products are based on a family of antimicrobial polymers (AMPs) with potent, broad-spectrum activity towards both bacteria and fungi. Especially attractive characteristics of these new compounds are that although they show strong antimicrobial activity, they are safe for mammalian cells and exhibit minimal environmental concerns. AMP compounds quickly kill bacteria including E. coli, S. epidemidis, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus (including MRSA), among others. Potential applications of this AMP technology include disposable and durable medical plastics, dental cements, wound care (acute and chronic wounds), medical devices (biofilm protection), active packaging, cosmetic preservatives, soaps, and textiles.

Janssen PMP's SANAFOR™ PO-5 now registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an antimicrobial masterbatch designed for inclusion in polyolefin materials. SANAFOR™ controls the growth of microorganisms on plastic surfaces, providing long-lasting protection against bacteria, fungi (mold and mildew) and algae that can cause stains, odor and product degradation. It is safe and easy to use, and its EPA registration gives manufacturers assurance of regulatory compliance. It is applicable to a broad range of products in the automotive, industrial, healthcare, textiles, footwear and home and leisure industries – from building materials and appliances to bedding and upholstery containing polyolefins. It is easily added during polymer processing and has no impact on the mechanical properties of the plastic. It also provides good thermal stability and has low-water solubility, limiting migration from the plastic. This is a cost-effective option that offers durable, broad-spectrum antimicrobial protection against bacteria, mold, mildew and algae.

SABIC's Microban® comprises uniquely designed antimicrobial plastic additives endure an involved, thorough process that guarantees antimicrobial protection in plastic items. These antimicrobial plastics product technologies are succeeding in protecting product surfaces from the uncontrolled growth of stain and odor causing bacteria. Unique antimicrobial plastic additives technology has been designed for kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, paints and more. After formula testing is complete and the appropriate design is identified, Microban collaborates with partners to create masterbatches containing antimicrobial plastic additives in the development stage. Products are then examined for correct antimicrobial plastic performances, durability requirements and product compatibility to guarantee comprehensive antimicrobial protection. Moreover, the Microban brand is dedicated to supplying clients with additional resources such as patent counseling and marketing support.

Bayer MaterialScience offers a range of antimicrobial plastic grades for medical applications. US hospitals look for innovative technology that can control the infections, a growing issue in the country. The antimicrobial plastics from Bayer can help manufacturers to prevent bacterial growth and enhance protection in medical devices. The materials are suitable for applications in IV access systems, surgical instruments and drug delivery devices. The company’s portfolios include one antimicrobial polycarbonate/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (PC/ABS) grade, Bayblend PC/ABS AM 120 FR, and three antimicrobial polycarbonate grades: Makrolon AM1825, Makrolon AM2428 and Makrolon AM2520. Makrolon AM1825 is a high-viscosity, radiation-stabilized and lipid-resistant thermoplastic material that is suitable for transparent medical device applications. The radiation-stabilization technology of the grade decreases discoloration resulting from gamma or e-beam radiation. Makrolon AM2428 is a high-performance antimicrobial plastic and it includes an internal mold release agent. Another antimicrobial polycarbonate grade from Bayer’s portfolio, Makrolon AM2520, delivers a correct balance between processibility, impact resistance and mechanical strength. Similar to Makrolon AM1825 grade, this material is also radiation stabilized. Certain color formulations of all the three polycarbonate grades meet the specifications of USP Class VI and ISO 10993 for Part 1 “Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices.” Bayblend PC/ABS AM 120 FR blend provides an opaque finish and flame-retardant properties to medical equipment and devices. All the antimicrobial grades are primarily processed by injection molding and manufactured in pellet form.

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