In the healthcare setting, invasive medical devices create a pathway for microorganisms to invade the patient. Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from healthcare-associated infections and billions of dollars are spent trying to treat such complications.

Microorganisms also affect respiratory health. Microorganisms in the air can invade humans via respiratory pathways. The World Health Organization has found that 30% of buildings have air quality that negatively affects the health of the building occupants with headaches, nausea and colds. The primary source for contamination is from building heating and ventilation systems, specifically air filters. Mold and other types of microbial growth on filters can release airborne particles contaminating the air.

Developed at Brown University, Axena Technologies, Inc. has created a novel platform technology to prevent microorganism attachment and colonization on product surfaces. The proprietary technology uses nano-particles bonded to surfaces to directly kill bacteria, mold and fungi. Axena¡¦s solution is based on a naturally occurring micronutrient which is safe, even healthy for human use. With nanotechnology, Axena is able to enhance antimicrobial properties with minimal amounts of material. Laboratory tests have shown that Axena¡¦s antimicrobial material is effective against a wide range of pathogens, does not elute, and does not degrade over time.

Axena¡¦s antimicrobial material works by interacting with a certain components of microorganisms, disrupting essential functional processes, arresting development and ultimately leading to cellular death. The coating is unique in that it does not affect healthy human cells or produce negative byproducts.

Importantly, Axena's material can be easily applied to all types of surfaces via dip or spray methods.

SEM images of bacteria growth on uncoated and coated PVC.