DITF and Germany's Heraeus Precious Metals develop washable, antimicrobial AGXX particles to use in lyocell fibers, nylon, textile coatings for healthcare sector; AGXX meets ISO standards, does not release metals, prevents odors, microbial resistance

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HANAU, Germany , September 8, 2022 (press release) –

  • AGXX particles from Heraeus Precious Metals demonstrate antimicrobial efficacy in accordance with ISO standards
  • Together with Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung (German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research), Heraeus Precious Metals is researching the processing of AGXX in textiles in the health care sector

Heraeus Precious Metals, one of the world's leading suppliers of precious metal services and products, is working with the German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research (DITF) on a publicly funded project to develop and optimize the incorporation of the antimicrobial substance AGXX into textile fibers, coatings and finishings for textiles in the healthcare sector.

In previous experiments, the addition of AGXX particles to various textile materials such as textile coatings, lyocell fibers or PA6 materials was tested. The antimicrobial efficacy of AGXX against bacteria was validated according to the requirements of ISO standards 22196 and 20743. The materials equipped with AGXX showed excellent antibacterial efficacy in the form of a bacterial count reduction of more than 3 log levels (corresponding to a reduction of more than 99.9 percent) compared to AGXX-free materials. This good efficacy is maintained even after several washing cycles. Furthermore, the textile mechanical properties, such as abrasion resistance or behavior towards water or dirt, remained largely unaffected by the addition of the AGXX particles.

ISO standards 22196 and 20743 confirm the excellent antibacterial efficacy of AGXX in the form of a germ count reduction of more than 3 log levels compared to AGXX-free materials. Source: Heraeus Precious Metals

After the general incorporation capability and effectiveness of AGXX in textiles have been confirmed, the next step will be to research and optimize its incorporation into other textile materials. As part of a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, Heraeus Precious Metals and the German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research are working on the processing of AGXX textiles for the healthcare sector. Due to their sensitive areas of application, these must meet special requirements and exhibit high purity and microbiological quality. At the end of the three-year project, the joint results will be published.

"With the help of various, extensive tests, we have already been able to demonstrate the effectiveness of AGXX against more than 130 microorganisms on different surfaces. With our combined know-how, we want to further explore the efficient use of AGXX in textiles and make an important contribution to the healthcare sector," emphasizes Martin Danz, Head of Antimicrobial Technologies at Heraeus Precious Metals.

AGXX particles demonstrate antimicrobial efficacy in accordance with ISO standards. Source: Heraeus Precious Metals

AGXX - An Antimicrobial Technology of the Active Substance Class “Free Radicals”

AGXX is based on the mechanism of action of a catalytic reaction in which the oxygen is converted into oxygen radicals (ROS) in combination with water. These in turn react with the microorganisms, reliably killing them and thus preventing the formation of biofilms.

AGXX technology combines five advantages: it has a broadband effect, lasts a long time because it does not release metal ions into the environment, is based solely on a catalytic reaction with water and oxygen, thus preventing the formation of resistances, and offers a range of applications far beyond textiles. Because of these positive properties, AGXX is suitable for many other applications besides textiles, such as plastics, facade and antifouling paints, air-conditioning technology, protective masks, medical products and sanitary facilities. The technology also ensures, for example, increased comfort in sportswear by preventing unpleasant perspiration odors, or a longer application lifetime for textile filters.

The mechanism of action of AGXX technology is based on the formation of reactive oxygen species. Source: Heraeus Precious Metals

About Heraeus Precious Metals

Heraeus Precious Metals is a leading provider of precious metals services and products. We combine all activities related to our comprehensive expertise in the precious metals loop – from trading to precious metals products to recycling.

Heraeus Precious Metals is one of the world’s largest refiners of platinum group metals (PGMs) and a leading name in industrial precious metals trading. Our precious metals products are used in a wide variety of industries, including the chemical, pharmaceutical, glass, electronics and automotive industries. We offer top quality solutions and products based on many years of experience and technical expertise. We are a reliable development partner for our customers and find the best solutions for their requirements.

About Heraeus

Heraeus, the technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is a leading international family-owned portfolio company. The company’s roots go back to a family pharmacy started in 1660. Today, the Heraeus group includes businesses in the environmental, electronics, health and industrial applications sectors. Customers benefit from innovative technologies and solutions based on broad materials expertise and technological leadership.

In the 2021 financial year, the FORTUNE Global 500 listed group generated revenues of €29.5 billion (US$34.9 billion*) with approximately 16,200 employees in 40 countries. Heraeus is one of the top 10 family-owned companies in Germany and holds a leading position in its global markets.

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