Soft Elastic News 05/2020 | Antimicrobial compounds

Dear Customer,

Avoiding crowds of people, not touching anything, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, staying at home ... There are a variety of suggestions for protecting yourself from infection. But some things are simply impossible to avoid.

Keep your distance

Keeping your distance, for example, is easier said than done. After all, anyone who has ever been stranded at the airport or on a train or platform among crowds of people knows that it is practically impossible to keep your distance in such situations. And this is particularly applicable to those who are obliged to face crazy commuter travel every morning and evening.

Don’t touch anything

​​​​​​​Then the second piece of advice poses another struggle: don’t touch anything as many bacteria are transmitted by hands and are then easily and swiftly distributed across contact surfaces used by many other people. But how are we to safely take the bus without holding on to the hand-holder or rail, for example? These are the exact places – handles, door openers, stop buttons etc. – offering surfaces for pathogens. And this applies for all surfaces in public buildings, your own workplace, at children’s schools or daycare facilities, and in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals in particular. At this moment in time, doctors’ surgeries and out-patient facilities are overcrowded as many people are already rushing to the doctor at even the first signs of a mild cold or flu. And this is where the problem arises.

Hospital infections are a serious problem throughout Europe. Every year in Germany alone, 400,000 to 600,000 of the approx. 18 million in-patients treated contract hospital infections with fatal outcomes for around 10,000 to 15,000 people. Depending on the respective type of nursing and treatment in out-patient medical care, these areas are also associated with an endogenous and exogenous risk of infection. Anything which could lead to the spread of germs through basic skin contact, non-sterile medical products or touching surfaces can be avoided or minimized where surfaces and a wide variety of medical aids are manufactured using antimicrobial synthetic compounds or which display the corresponding coatings.

Guaranteed germ-killing features

Material developers and manufacturers of medical products are also committed to deploying antimicrobial compounds against germs. Such as ACTEGA DS. The company equip their TPE compounds suitable for injection molding and extrusion with additives which guarantee germ-killing features on the one hand while also offering thermal stability and resistance against the various sterilization methods on the other. The antimicrobial properties of PROVAMED® TPE by ACTEGA DS are achieved during the compounding process,whereby the germ-resistant effect is not restricted to the surface, but applies for the entire product. This also means that these properties are not affected by external impacts such as scratches, excessive use or wear.
Biocide effectiveness has been proven on the basis of a test method for non-washable, antibacterial synthetic surfaces. Known as JIS Z 2801, this test method meanwhile included in the ISO 22196 standard involves applying a defined concentration of a bacterial suspension (400 µl) to a surface area of the plastic measuring approx. 5 x 5 cm. ACTEGA DS deployed the ATCC 4157 E.coli (gram negative) and ATCC 7468 M.luteus (gram positive) microorganisms in a concentration of 1.6 x 10exp(5) for the test. These samples were stored in sterile containers (incubator) at room temperature and constant humidity. During the course of additional tests – after one hour, two hours, three hours, and four hours – the remaining number of CFU (colony-forming units) was established on the basis of titer determination in order to specify the quantitative effect (reduction of CFU). After three hours, it was possible to realize a reduction of the germs by >99.9 percent. In the subsequent agar diffusion test based on the AATCC test method 147, it was possible to prove that no migrating impurities were contained in the sample – providing evidence of lasting biocide effectiveness for products manufactured from PROVAMED® (1158 AB). Apart from featuring germ-killing additives, PROVAMED® TPE also display a very low migration potential, are biocompatible, and provide protection against irritations of the mucus membranes.

Hygiene market with a potential

The market for compounds with integrated germicidal additives or antimicrobial coating procedures is growing steadily. And not only in the area of medical technology. Such plastic compounds can also be found in computer keyboards, enclosures and chopping boards, in the areas of electronics, household and catering. And now there is also a growing interest in products for private households. Are you developing a product where antibacterial properties are helpful or necessary or are you looking for plastics with soft-elastic features? We have what you are looking for! And if the standard product is not yet available, we can develop your customized material and support you in the form of regulatory competence, sophisticated application technology, and a high degree of flexibility.