November 7, 2003

2 Min Read
Renewable Antimicrobial Coating Protects Medical Textiles

Originally Published MPMNNovember 2003


Renewable Antimicrobial Coating Protects Medical Textiles


Bacteria from untreated wipes are shown next to samples treated with Vanson HaloSource's HaloShield coating.

Hospitals strive to maintain a sterile environment, but with constant traffic of illness and disease, protective measures to keep the facilities clean may not always be enough. To enable medical facilities to keep their bedding and garments bacteria free, bioscience company Vanson HaloSource (Redmond, WA; up with medical product and equipment supplier Medline Industries (Mundelein, IL; to apply an antimicrobial protective coating to these products. HaloShield N-halamine combats mold, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and contagious viruses, which are carriers of diseases among hospital patients and healthcare personnel. 

"HaloShield coatings extend the power of chlorine allowing product manufacturers to turn virtually any surface--from a cotton sheet to a tile floor--into a durable antimicrobial surface," says Jerry Wetherbee, CEO of the company. "On an untreated fabric, chlorine and its antimicrobial power simply evaporate as soon as it leaves the washing machine, allowing new contaminants to grow freely. We think of HaloShield as Velcro for chlorine molecules. It locks the chlorine in place until it comes into contact and kills the microbe."

According to the company, the coating stays on the treated surface for the life of the item. Washing in common household bleach resets the chlorine on the coated fabric. The power of the chlorine retains its virus-killing abilities for several weeks between regular launderings. Laboratory and field tests show that HaloShield is nonirritating and safe for sensitive skin, even with fabric worn or slept in daily. 

When searching for a fabric to help prevent bacterial infections, "we looked at every antimicrobial treatment available and found that only HaloShield deals effectively with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci, as well as the growing threat of viruses, including HIV," says Ron Barth, president of Medline's Medcrest textiles division. 

Later this year, the company will release Fabri-Kote, its HaloShield-treated hospital sheets, pillowcases, scrubs, and gowns. Medline's clients include hospitals, extended-care facilities, and surgery centers nationwide. Vanson HaloSource also produces the Hygieni-Kote coating for hard surfaces and Poli-Kote for paints. 

Melody Lee

Copyright ©2003 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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