In an effort to increase antimicrobial surface options for healthcare and military environments, Eastman Kodak Company and PurThread Technologies, Inc. have entered a joint development agreement (JDA). The collaboration will expand the use of Kodak’s proprietary antimicrobial technology to hard and soft surfaces.
Kodak brings to the JDA expertise in materials science, such as nanoparticle and dispersion technologies, while PurThread brings extensive knowledge of textile manufacturing technologies, product formulation and a keen understanding of the healthcare market.
“This JDA builds on our promising collaboration with PurThread to embed Kodak’s technology into fabrics,” says Tom McHugh, general manager of materials technology and business development for Kodak’s Digital Printing & Enterprise segment. “The demand for antimicrobial surfaces is only going to grow in response to infection prevention efforts around the globe.”
Kodak’s proprietary silver-based antimicrobial technology is at the center of the JDA. PurThread holds a globally exclusive agreement to use Kodak’s antimicrobial agent in textiles and won a 2013 TechAmerica Award for the process of embedding it in fiber. The company embeds Kodak’s EPA-registered antimicrobial agent, a proprietary version of a silver salt, into synthetic fibers before they are spun into yarn and woven into fabrics. This ensures that the antimicrobial effects of the fabric are uniform and constant throughout the life of the product.
A double-blind randomized controlled trial, published in the Journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, found that hospital privacy curtains made of PurThread fabric resisted contamination seven times longer than standard curtains. Curtains without PurThread fabric were also eight times more likely to be contaminated with the superbug VRE (Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci), compared to PurThread’s curtains.
“PurThread products made with Kodak’s EPA-registered antimicrobial agent have performed exceptionally well in protecting fabrics from contamination, and we believe surface applications can be developed with the same high quality and effectiveness,” says Lisa Grimes, CEO of PurThread Technologies. “Healthcare, military and top-tier consumer product companies are searching for powerful antimicrobial surface solutions for their patients, customers and our service-members. We look forward to working with Kodak to develop them.”
Currently, PurThread’s product line includes healthcare textiles, such as medical scrubs, lab coats, privacy curtains and linens, as well as fitness apparel, such as polo shirts and base layers. The company is also partnering with leaders in the U.S. textile industry to manufacture its products and bring its next-generation technology to discerning consumer brands.
Source: PurThread Technologies, Inc.