PHILADELPHIA — Infinity Compounding Corp. launched is new line of antimicrobial concentrates and compounds at the MD&M East medical device trade show, held June 18-20 in Philadelphia June 18-20.
Dubbed Inhibit, the new additive can be included in any structural, lubricated electrically active or colored custom compound, said Infinity Vice President Tim Carroll. The antimicrobial additives, based on silver functionalized clay, prevent bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms from growing on the surfaces of medical devices large and small for “several years.”
Though Inhibit is not intended to replace gamma or ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization, Carroll said, current testing shows the silver additive is effective at killing Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at loads as low as 1 percent, without effecting the color or surface appearance of the plastic.
“You still have to clean the instrument but when you walk away and someone touches it, you didn't lose the effect of cleaning it 5 minutes later,” he said. “They keep taking stronger bases and stronger solvents to clean these instruments and machines and they're staring to now attack the plastics instead of the bugs. This combination of antimicrobial additives plus being able to put them into more chemically resistant, higher temperature resins I think is going to be a growing market for us.”
So far, most interest in the antimicrobial additives have been from molders using ABS, polypropylene and polycarbonate, Carroll said, “not really anything high-temperature yet, but hopefully soon.” In addition to medical applications, Carroll said he also sees a future for Inhibit in other areas, particularly sports and recreation equipment.
“Wouldn't that be great to be able to go to the gym and wipe down the equipment and not have to worry about what the last sweaty guy left on there that you can't see?” he said.
At the close of 2012, Swedesboro, N.J.-based Infinity was acquired by color and additive concentrates Americhem Inc. of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Carroll said Infinity will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary with its existing management team, including Carroll, who founded the company in 2005 with President Carlos Carreno, who is also staying put.
One of the advantages in the deal is Americhem's existing operations in China, which will include some of Infinity's catalogue, including Inhibit before the end of the year, Carroll said.