Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally, with an estimated 1.4 million patients affected annually. In the United States alone, HAIs are responsible for approximately 100,000 deaths and cost the healthcare system more than $40 billion each year. Pathogens that cause HAIs can survive on environmental surfaces for extended periods of time, and common touch points between patients and workers are frequent vectors for transmission. In order to reduce the spread of HAIs, it is essential to regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces. However, many currently available disinfectants are ineffective against a wide range of pathogenic microbes, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Moreover, these products often contain harmful chemicals that can damage surfaces and pose risks to human health.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed an effective, durable and safe-to-use disinfectant coating that can rapidly kill a variety of pathogens. The substance is an all-natural compound whose active ingredient is derived from plant based essential oils which can be easily applied either via spray or brush without damaging the underlying surface. This novel technology has the potential to significantly reduce the burden of HAIs worldwide.
A recently published study has demonstrated the efficacy of a new coated surface in killing gram negative and gram positive bacteria, including MRSA, as well as the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The study showed that the treated surfaces achieved a 99.9% kill rate within a few minutes or even seconds of exposure. In addition, the treated surfaces maintained their antimicrobial efficacy for six months, even when exposed to air, mechanical stress, chemical cleaners or extreme temperatures. The coating can also be recharged by applying fresh material, renewing its antimicrobial activity. This new technology has the potential to revolutionize infection control in healthcare facilities and other high-risk environments.
“The coating could be a game changer in traditionally germ-laden public spaces like airports and hospitals,” said Anish Tuteja, professor at the University of Michigan and lead investigator.
The coating technology has been exclusively licensed to EnviraShield Health, LLC for application in all healthcare settings. The company is privately held and boasts next generation antimicrobial coatings. These coatings are the result of a patent-pending polymeric formulation that works in combination with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. EnviraShield is committed to enhancing patient care by reducing the risk of infection that can be caused by contact with contaminated surfaces. In doing so, the company hopes to create safer healthcare environments overall. The use of this cutting-edge technology has the potential to revolutionize healthcare as we know it and make a positive impact on the lives of patients around the world.