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The University of Nottingham and Angel Guard Set to Revolutionise The World of Plastics Through New Polymer Launch


The University of Nottingham has collaborated with water management company Angel Guard for the first time to create a polymer that could save thousands of lives.

Together, they have developed a world-first anti-biofilm polymer called Bactigon®️/KELT-7, which prevents bacterial biofilm formation, reducing the risk of deadly infections that cause many thousands of deaths each year. It achieves this without the need for antibiotics or other toxic diffusible agents, meaning it will not contribute to the build-up of anti-bacterial resistance, which is one of the key future healthcare issues identified by the World Health Organisation.

The brand-new anti-biofilm polymer is a vital tool to not only protect water systems, where it will be initially utilised, but also to protect public health at large. It has also been created to extremely unique specifications that allow it to be used as a plastic construction material. Its design is very versatile, allowing it to be applied as a spray coating, dipping process or by utilising 3D printing techniques – further expanding the range of possible applications it can be applied to.

The development of the Bactigon®️/KELT-7 polymer will enable manufacturers to build-in anti-biofilm properties into their existing product line, ensuring that water systems remain biofilm free and prevent infections to end-users.

Unlike silver and zinc additive solutions that often lose their benefits when immersed in water, this world-first polymer prevents bacterial pathogen biofilm growth even when submerged in water, making it a very attractive option for use in water, sanitary fixtures, fittings, and plumbing systems among many other applications.

Working with Angel Guard has, and continues to be, an extremely rewarding experience. It is allowing us to develop some of our paradigm changing fundamental research into real world impact.

Professor Derek Irvine, Professor of Materials Chemistry in the Faculty of Engineering

Professor Irvine continued: “This allows us to deliver societal benefits from the investment made into Nottingham’s research by the EPSRC, Wellcome Trust and Angel Guard. It is a very strong example of how knowledge transfer and exchange with industry can have benefits for people all over the world.”

A key challenge in the development of the material was finding an anti-biofilm polymer that could withstand high temperatures in-line with current hot cleaning procedures. The new polymer, with both anti-biofilm and durable properties, was designed and shown to be able to coat o-rings used in potable water systems using a simple dip-coating procedure.

It has been a truly rewarding experience. The partnership between our organisations has produced something that is not only very much needed in the healthcare and plumbing sector but could see massive changes to public health worldwide. Angel Guard is all about utilising science, technology, and innovation to save lives, and we feel that we have found incredible partners in the University of Nottingham, and we will continue to enjoy innovating with them!

Jonathan Waggott, Managing Director of Angel Guard

Source: University of Nottingham

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