Permanent antimicrobial surface coating
Bacteria are known as pathogens. But they also protect our health: many bacteria naturally colonize our skin as well as the mucous membranes of our mouth, nose, intestines and other organs. Together they form a protective barrier for healthy people. This makes it more difficult for pathogens to penetrate our bodies. With weakened defenses or injuries to the skin and mucous membranes, both foreign and endogenous pathogens can enter the body and trigger an infection. Common bacterial infections include pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and wound or skin infections.
If the bacteria spread through the blood in the body, this is referred to as blood poisoning. In the worst-case scenario, organ functions can fail. This can be life-threatening.
Antibiotics are usually effective drugs for bacterial infections. They kill or weaken the bacteria.
However, some bacteria are insensitive to many antibiotics. In this case, we’re dealing with multidrug resistant pathogens. The most well-known example is the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – or MRSA infection for short.
Bacteria multiply very quickly and in large numbers. The genetic material can change in such a way that these pathogens become insensitive to antibiotics. These bacteria survive antibiotic treatments and pass on their resistance. If MRSA bacteria are resistant to many different antibiotics, this is referred to as multidrug resistance. These bacteria are no more dangerous than others. They also do not cause infections more frequently. However, if a staph infection occurs, it is much more difficult to treat. Only a few antibiotics are still effective. Laboratory tests can be used to find out which antibiotics are still effective and which are not.
Multidrug resistant bacteria arise mainly because antibiotics are not used correctly, i.e., they’re used too often, they’re not used long enough, the dosage is too low, or because biocides intervene in the cell metabolism of the germ. The latter issue occurred in a controversial case involving the common antimicrobial ingredient Triclosan. Therefore, the active ingredient was banned by the FDA.
For healthy people with good immune systems, multidrug resistant pathogens are usually harmless. This means that the risk of contracting these bacteria is very low. Healthy people can carry MDR pathogens without falling ill themselves. They usually do not know that they are carriers of MDR germs. This becomes problematic if they unconsciously transmit these pathogens to a person with a weakened immune system. These people are particularly at risk of developing infections, which are then more difficult to treat. The following factors increase the risk of developing infections caused by MDR pathogens:
– Hospital stay within the last six months
– Stay in a nursing home
– Permanent need for care
– Antibiotic therapy within the last six months
– Open, large, poorly healing skin wounds
– Tubes (catheters) in the body, e.g., in the bladder
– Diseases that weaken the immune system; for example, diabetes mellitus,
– Medicines that suppress the immune system
For healthy MDR germs carriers, the pathogens can become a risk when infected people are operated on. MDR pathogens can penetrate the surgical wound and cause infection.
But MRSA skin infections can also be picked up in the general community (CA-MRSA). So, CA-MRSA is about people who have contracted MRSA in a different place and not in the healthcare system. CA-MRSA can also cause serious infections in healthy people outside the hospital, which can be fatal in some cases (e.g., pneumonia).
Superbug infections are most likely to occur in facilities where many sick and weak people are cared for, such as healthcare facilities and nursing homes. Especially in hospitals, many patients are at risk. This is why the risk of infection is greatest there: In Germany, about 500,000 people develop hospital infections every year, often through the body’s bacteria. Approximately 30,000 infections are caused by MDR pathogens. This means that about 6 out of every 100 hospital infections are caused by MDR germs. 33,000 people die in the European Union due to such staph bacteria infections each year.
Besides the basics, like regular and proper handwashing and avoiding skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, regular disinfection with antimicrobial sprays can reduce the spread of pathogens such as MRSA.
Antimicrobials are generally understood to be chemical substances. Antimicrobial active substances also include ionizing radiation or technically produced surface structures. Each of the variants inhibits or alters one or more of the following cell functions of microorganisms:
- Cell wall synthesis
- Protein synthesis
- Cell membrane functions
- Nucleic acid synthesis (genetic code)
While most EPA and BPR-registered active ingredients for hard surfaces are non-toxic, their promised effects on odour-causing bacteria and mould growth (mould control) leave a lot to be desired. Most healthcare provider reviews show that antimicrobial products have poor durability. In fact, microbial growth starts soon after the application of antimicrobial sprays.
The antimicrobial coating LIQUID GUARD® preserves and, therefore, retains the value of any item. Additionally, the invisible seal of amorphous glass protects your most valuable assets: health and well-being.
In contrast to silver ion technology, which has a depot effect that limits the durability of the antimicrobial properties, LIQUID GUARD® has a permanent impact due to its physical mode of action. Therefore, it can also be used on medical devices in healthcare institutions or medical facilities and produce a permanently antimicrobial surface.
Not only is the growth of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, moulds, and other microorganisms prevented, but also the spread of bacteria (new colonization), such as on door handles.
There’s one truly unique thing about antimicrobial technology: The product does not work directly with an antimicrobial additive or material. The molecules of the thin film SiO2 coating contained in the formulation are so sharp that microorganisms tear open the cell wall and are thus rendered harmless. LIQUID GUARD®’s antimicrobial coating is functional and made of silicon, which provides 24/7 infection control, especially against Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. With its non-toxic active ingredients, this solution eliminates the need for other cleaning agents.
Uses of antimicrobial coatings for disease control include:
Surfaces such as:
- Plastics, fiberglass, metals, glass, wood, ceramics, stone, natural materials, and composites, including air filters for furnaces, air conditioners, air purification devices, automobiles, and recirculating air handling systems; aquarium filters; personal items, automotive and vehicular parts.
Materials such as:
- roofing materials (tiles, shakes, shingles, granules, stone, membranes, felt, underlayment and synthetic overcoats); building materials and components (including siding, wallboard, wood and wood composites, insulation and cabinetry); ceiling tiles; concrete products; dry concrete and grout mixes; conveyor and humidifier belts, and stainless steel
Commodities such as:
- nonfood contact countertops; healthcare settings, fiberglass duct-board for air handling systems; floor covering; flooring; general purpose containers; furniture; bathroom and non-food contact kitchen hardware; mats; plumbing supplies and fixtures; sheet and formed glass; mops; vacuum cleaner bags and filters; foam for packaging and cushioning, and air conditioning.
Further applications to reduce microbial growth by antimicrobial surface coatings include:
Fibrous materials and essential commodities such as:
- Fibers, fabrics (natural and synthetic, woven and nonwoven), leather and household materials (natural and artificial), including buffer pads (abrasive and polishing); mattress cover pads, filling and ticking; pillow covers; sheets; blankets; bedspreads; fiber-fill for upholstery, apparel, recreational gear, quilts and pillows; curtains; draperies; carpet and carpet underlay; rugs; upholstery; towels; shower curtains; toilet tank and seat covers; wall-covering fabrics and wallpaper (including vinyl); umbrellas; fire hose fabric; non-woven disposable diapers; wiping cloths; pre-moistened towelettes and tissue wipes (these do not impart pesticidal properties); apparel including outerwear, sportswear, sleepwear, socks, hosiery, undergarments, gloves and uniforms; footwear (boots, shoes and components); sports equipment and athletic gear; cloth for sails, ropes, tents and other outdoor equipment; sandbags; tarps; awnings; book covers; pictures.
Manufactured products such as:
- Paints and coatings; disposable foam cushions; foam used as a growth medium for crops and plants.
Multidrug resistant germs (superbugs) are one of the biggest dangers when you get to the hospital. New developments like LIQUID GAURD® offer 24/7 protection for surfaces by reducing the risk of infection in-between regular cleaning cycles. The permanent coating can start a revolution in the healthcare sector but can also be used at home for surface hygiene and odor control.