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Scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have recently invented a class of potentially highly-mobile, self-spreading biocides that combine the wetting and spreading properties of silicone fluids with biocidal functionalities of ammonium salts. The biocidal fluid may consist of three distinctive components: a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) block, an optional extender block, and a biocidal moiety. The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Depending on the nature and extent of the contamination, decontamination can be a complex, expensive, and time-consuming process involving multiple technologies and approaches. The bacteria or other contaminants may be inaccessible, making complete decontamination challenging. Many decontaminating chemical agents rely on reactive species and are, therefore, inherently unstable. Most commercial sterilants require activation just prior to use and lose effectiveness within hours. The efficacy of some agents such as hypochlorites is rapidly diminished by the presence of organic matter and the requirement of moisture for distribution. The use of moisture in confined spaces frequently results in mold and bacteria growth. Bactericidal efficacy also requires careful attention to personnel safety. Because of these shortcomings, a need exists for a more effective and simple system for surface decontamination.
In response, Navy scientists have developed a series of biocides that, when formulated with the proper resin systems, produce coatings and polymers that kill a variety of bacteria, molds, and viruses on contact. The novel design of the molecule, with one end being hydrophobic and the other hydrophilic, causes the biocide to preferentially migrate to the surface, where it is most effective, while the resin or coating is still liquid. The structure also greatly reduces removal by leaching once dried or cured.
Available as a self-spreading compound or additive to a coating polymer, the system can clean any surface in which bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew accumulate including air ducts, floors, walls, ceilings, clothing, outdoor gear, electronic components, public transportation surfaces, food preparation areas, medical facilities, and more.
- Continuously self-disinfects
- Easy to apply and temperature stable
- Effective on a wide range of surface materials
- Reduces maintenance and associated costs
- Disinfects hard to access surfaces
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 7,741,503 from the Navy
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