Antimicrobial polymer additive technology Nouvex received approval this week from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs, Antimicrobial Division, as a material preservative. Clinically proven to be effective against bacteria as well as select viruses and fungi, Nouvex represents a new approach to preventing microbial contamination of materials such as thermoplastics, textiles, powder coatings as well as water and solvent based coatings, according to a press release published by Purdue University. The technology, which was developed by Jeffrey Youngblood, a professor in the Purdue School of Materials Engineering, is commercialized by Poly Group LLC (West Lafayette, IN).
“Nouvex works in a way that is unlike current chemicals or metal agents such as triclosan, copper and silver, making it conducive for use as a material preservative in substances such as thermoset and thermoplastics and synthetics; injection molding; and extrusion and powder coatings,” said Craig Kalmer, Chief Operating Officer of PolyGroup. EPA approval demonstrates that Nouvex, if used as directed, is safe to the environment and provides effective material protection as a preservative, he added.
The additive is relatively inexpensive and can be easily integrated during the manufacturing process, writes Poly Group on its website. Independent tests conducted under good laboratory practice guidelines for EPA prove that it does not induce resistance, is highly biocompatible, and exhibits extremely limited toxicity, adds the company. “Using Nouvex can mean that hospital acquired infections are a ‘never’ event." The positively charged additive destroys pathogens on contact and exhibits persistent activity and surface endurance, and its large molecular structure imparts biocompatibility with no chemical binding or linkage issues.
Poly Group plans to continue development of the technology with the goal of securing additional EPA and FDA registrations as more data become available. The company has entered into an agreement to assist in the introduction of Nouvex technology into urinary catheters, which could result in an FDA Class II registration.
The global antimicrobial plastic market is forecast to reach approximately $3.6 billion by 2020 and achieve a compound annual growth rate of 10% between 2015 and 2020, according to a report from MarketsandMarkets. Packaging and healthcare applications are the primary applications, with automotive coming up fast.
Poly Group LLC is interested in discussions with major materials manufacturers regarding the co-development of appropriate Nouvex-treated materials and products.