A nanomaterial described as “liquid glass” and billed as a safe antimicrobial coating solution has been chosen to receive the Frost & Sullivan EU New Product Innovation Award in the field of antimicrobial nanocoatings.
The award recognizes the development of the technology by Nanopool GmbH, based in Schmalbach, Germany. The company says it is a developer of coating materials based on silicon dioxide, or silica (SiO2), which occurs naturally as sand or quartz.
“This solution effectively addresses the industrial need for a safe antibacterial coating solution that can be conveniently applied on any surface,” Frost & Sullivan said in announcing the award.
“Additional benefits such as heat resistance, hydrophobicity and flexibility further underline its appeal,” Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ankit Ashokkumar Shukla said in the firm’s announcement on the award. “Ease of application and the ability to be customized to suit the needs of specific applications and industries highlights its potential to replace existing antibacterial coating products.”
The award is part of Frost & Sullivan’s “Best Practices Awards” program, which recognizes companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating “outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.”
|Medical personnel at SHG Hospitals in Völklingen, Germany, shown applying the “liquid glass” coating during a test program.|
‘High Disinfectant Properties’
In its announcement on the Nanopool award, Frost & Sullivan said the application of silicon dioxide at a nanometric scale as an antimicrobial coating contributes to “high disinfectant properties, previously achieved only by silver nanocoatings.” The announcement adds that while the potential toxicity of silver has been an area of concern, “liquid glass, the nano silicon dioxide product, has been subjected to several clinical tests and found to be compliant with DIN EN ISO 10993-(1-12) standards and hence completely biocompatible.”
The material also is reported to offer water and dirt repellence, which facilitates cleaning, and transparency that retains the aesthetics of the treated surface. The material is reported to resist heat and cold, with functionality at a wide range of temperatures (-150 to +450 C). Long-term durability is also claimed.
Application is by wiping or spraying onto the surface, with potential uses said to span a wide range, from plant protection for agriculture to use in high-tech industries such as aerospace and biomedical. These likely uses extend to building and construction, automotive, production, packaging, transport, retail, and hospitality.
‘Miracle Spray-on Glass’
Applications of Nanopool’s silcon dioxide nanomaterial are reviewed in postings on the company’s website (www.nanopool.biz). The reports include details on a trial at SHG Hospitals in Völklingen, Germany, where a reduction in bacteria of up to 50% and more was demonstrated on surfaces treated with the coating.
A news article in the International Independent (UK), carrying the headline “The Miracle Spray-On Glass That Stops the Bugs” reported on a trial at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, involving application to toys in the children’s wards.
“The liquid glass, which is safe and completely inert, forms an invisible, flexible coating on the surface of an object and repels dirt and grime,” the article states. “More importantly, it is believed to prevent the build-up of hospital-acquired infections such as the superbug Staphylococcus aureus, which is resistant to many antibiotics.”
Tests carried out at another hospital indicated that application of the coating to floors, bedside tables and other surfaces reduced bacteria by 25% to 30%.