What Is Antimicrobial Technology?
What Is Antimicrobial Technology?
Antimicrobial technology uses antimicrobial substances in products to reduce or eliminate the presence of microbes. Antimicrobials have been in use for thousands of years, but recently they have been used to develop products that permanently protect against microbes.
An antimicrobial substance kills and prevents the spread of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and viruses. Various types of products contain antimicrobials, some you’re probably familiar with, like antibiotics and disinfectants.
Antimicrobial Technology Definition
Antimicrobial technology uses ingredients in products that help protect against bacteria, fungi, and viruses permanently. It uses antimicrobial additives like silver ions to either kill microorganisms or stop them from growing.
Types of Antimicrobial Technology
There are three types of antimicrobial additives commonly used and proven to be effective against bacteria, fungi and certain viruses. These three additives have different efficacies and are in a range of products.
The common use for zinc antimicrobial additives is as an antibacterial and antifungal compound. These additives target a broad spectrum of microbes and are effective against bacteria, mould, mildew and algae.
Copper antimicrobial additives protect against bacteria, fungi and viruses, and you can find them in preservatives and hygiene products such as coatings and paints.
Silver Ion Technology
Silver ion antimicrobial additives have one of the broadest ranges of applications, with paints, coatings and textiles all containing them. Silver ion technology protects against bacteria, fungi, parasites, mites and certain viruses.
How Does Silver Ion Antimicrobial Technology Work?
As silver ion antimicrobial technology has one of the widest ranges of use, it can be perfect for a variety of products. Silver technology prevents microorganisms from spreading by stopping contamination and growth through four processes.
1. Cell Membrane Damage
By damaging a microorganism’s cell membrane, silver ion technology compromises its structural integrity, causing nutrients to leak out and, eventually, causing the cell membrane to burst — killing the cell.
2. Protein Damage
Protein is an essential element for biological systems to live. Silver ions cause a failure of the cell’s crucial functions, like energy production, by damaging the microorganism’s protein. This damage to the cell’s protein means that it cannot replicate and grow.
3. DNA Interference
Silver ion technology blocks the copying of a cell’s DNA by disrupting its genetic material. By doing this, the cell is unable to replicate itself and spread.
4. Oxidative Damage
The presence of the silver ions in the cell cause increased levels of reactive oxygen, which damages the microbe’s internal system.
Examples of Silver Technology
Silver ion technology has a wide range of uses and is in several products that protect against the spread of infection. Often, silver ions are used in protective coverings that stop bacteria and viruses from spreading. You can often find these coverings on:
- Light switches
- Door handle coverings
- Shopping carts
- Common touchpoints (i.e. buttons, push/pull signs).
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