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Leading German composites supplier develops antimicrobial material

One in 25 U.S. patients will contract a hospital-acquired infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and some medical experts estimate that as many as 15,000 patients die each year from these infections. There are a number of entry points for bacteria into hospitals and safe havens where they can thrive—operating room walls and ceilings are among them.

One in 25 U.S. patients will contract a hospital-acquired infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and some medical experts estimate that as many as 15,000 patients die each year from these infections. There are a number of entry points for bacteria into hospitals and safe havens where they can thrive—operating room walls and ceilings are among them.

Lamilux
Lamilux Product Manager Sascha Oswald holds a panel
made of the company's antimicrobial material.
Lamilux Composites GmbH (Rehau, Germany), a manufacturer of glass roof domes and related daylight systems and Europe's leading producer of fiber-reinforced composites, has developed an antimicrobial material in partnership with Rent-a-Scientist, a world leader in nano silver research based in Regensburg, Germany, that essentially yanks out the welcome mat for bacteria in healthcare settings and other environments. A fiber-reinforced plastic with a nanosilver-coated surface, AntiBac received its commercial launch this month.

"More than 90% of bacteria are killed on the surface of the material in a matter of hours," Sascha Oswald told PlasticsToday. "After 24 hours, over 99.9% are killed." Developing a material that could retain its antimicrobial properties over a long period of time under harsh conditions took nearly three years, he adds. "The result: Under worst-case environmental conditions, the antimicrobial effect lasts for more than 55 years," Oswald added.

Initially developed as a wall coating for operating theaters in hospitals, the material can be used to manufacture wall and ceiling panels for any environment where sterility is paramount. The food industry is cited as a target application, specifically the cold chain as well as processing areas and slaughterhouses.

Lamilux AntiBac currently is undergoing trial testing at the prestigious Asklepios Clinic in Bad Abbach, Germany, where some parts of the operating room walls have been covered with antimicrobial panels.

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