How Does Antiviral Technology Differ from Antimicrobial Technology?
Antimicrobial technology is a general term for any action or activity that destroys or inhibits the survival and growth of bacteria and/or fungi. In contrast, antiviral technologies are specifically designed to reduce the number of or inactivate viral particles. It should be noted that when stating that a substance is antiviral, you must also specify which virus is affected.
What Are the Benefits of Microban Antiviral Technologies?
Microban antiviral technologies are proven to reduce tested viruses* by over 99% on the treated substrate per international standards ISO 21702 (24 hours) and ISO 18184:2019 (2 hours). When Microban developed our antiviral technology suite, we had two criteria we wanted to fulfill:
- We wanted to be able to show a real antiviral effect that could be tested by a standard method, to allow our partners to make claims in the marketplace, and
- We wanted to be able to take these solutions to a broad set of partners in all geographies to maximize the impact of the antiviral treatment on their products.
*Antiviral efficacy may vary depending on substrate type, application dosage of the treatment, impurities, and application procedure.
How Do Microban Antiviral Technologies Work?
Since viruses are made of particles rather than cells, antiviral technologies inactivate viruses instead of killing them. Antivirals usually do the following:
- Disrupt the structure of the outer protein coat
- Disrupt the structure of the nucleic acid (DNA/RNA) that is inside. These structural disruptions cause the virus to:
- Lose the ability to recognize host cells
- Lose the ability to bind to host cells
- Lose the ability to produce more nucleic acid (DNA/RNA)
Generally, antiviral technologies cause viruses to lose the ability to remain viable on surfaces and reduce the virus's ability to infect and multiply in living cells.
In Which Products/Materials Can Microban Antiviral Technologies Be Applied?
Microban's new line of antiviral technologies can be applied into/onto textiles, polymers, and coatings:
- Polymers are chemical compounds made of long and repeating chains. Polymers are widely used because they can be shatter-resistant, stretchable, and flexible, making them useful for various functions. Many polymers have been used for antiviral composite materials in which the antiviral agents are encapsulated in polymers to form antiviral composites. The encapsulated antivirals are designed such that a critical surface amount is able to neutralize specific viruses.
- Polymers with antiviral and viricidal effects are mainly used as coatings. These cover the surface of many substrates.
- Polymers with an affinity for water (hydrophilic polymers) can be treated with chemicals that contain quaternary ammonium groups and hydrocarbon chains to modify fabrics. In such cases, the antiviral treatment acts by disrupting lipid-enveloped viruses upon contact.
Microban Has a Breadth of Antiviral Technologies – What Are the Differences in Offerings?
Microban has developed different antiviral technologies for different use cases and environments. Our antiviral technology developments consist of three use categories:
- Residual sanitizing and disinfecting products for use at home and in hospital: Both the Microban residual sanitizer product range for home surface care, and Microban continuously active disinfectant products for use in healthcare environments have been tested against numerous viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Biostatic surface protection coatings for use in public spaces: We have developed a range of specialized coatings that can be spray-applied to public spaces (subways, buses, office buildings, transportation terminals, manufacturing plants, etc.) to clean, disinfect, and protect surfaces, as well as deactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Built-in antiviral technologies for durable goods and wearables: Microban antiviral technologies can be incorporated into textiles, polymers, and coatings at the point of manufacture in order to provide lasting and durable effectiveness against viruses. These antiviral technologies, and performance claims that can be made on the treated articles and treated surfaces, are subject to regulatory requirements in the global region of sale.
In Which Products Can Microban Antiviral Technologies Be Used?
Microban antiviral technologies can be used in almost any manufactured product or surface.
If I Add an Antiviral Technology to My Product, Does That Mean I Can Automatically Make Antiviral Claims?
Antiviral claims are public health claims, and we need to adhere to regulatory requirements and allowances in the global region of sale of the treated product. Microban’s global regulatory team can aid your marketing department in developing compliant antiviral claims language to assist you in avoiding costly enforcement action and product recalls from regulatory bodies.
Do Microban Antiviral Technologies Help Against All Viruses?
Microban has tested the active ingredients in our antiviral technologies against Human Coronavirus as well as against a recognized surrogate for enveloped viruses (the bacteriophage phi6). Efficacy against the family of enveloped viruses (e.g. Influenza) is expected. Using the international standards ISO 20743, 21702, and 18184:2019 we are able to show a consistent reduction of the antiviral activity on treated products at a level of 99%.
What Are the International Antiviral Test Methods for Treated Articles?
ISO 18184 Textiles - Determination of antiviral activity of textile products:
- Assesses the performance of treated textile products (woven and knitted fabrics, fibers, yarns, braids)
ISO 21702 - Measurement of antiviral activity on plastics and other non-porous surfaces:
- Assesses the performance of treated plastics and other non-porous surfaces
Does Microban Offer/Conduct Antiviral Testing?
Microban is able to, through a network of global labs, conduct antiviral testing for developmental products. Due to the high cost of antiviral testing, we work carefully with prospects to ensure that commercial interests are fully understood.
How Long Do Microban Antiviral Technologies Last?
Microban antiviral technologies are durable and always-on treatments. For wearable articles, it is best to minimize washing to maintain the best levels of performance and sustainability.
Can Microban Antiviral Technologies Be Used Next to Skin?
Many of our antiviral technologies do not affect the skin as they do not interfere with the skin’s natural bacterial flora.
How Are Microban Antiviral Technologies Applied to Products and Surfaces?
Microban antiviral technologies are incorporated at the point of manufacture, as close to the finishing stage of production as possible. No additional water or energy is needed and therefore the impact on the environment is reduced.
Do Permissible Antiviral Claims Differ In Territories/Countries Around the World? If So, How?
Yes, antiviral claims differ in territories/countries around the world. When you choose to partner with Microban, we will help you craft acceptable antiviral claims language for your specific countries of sale.
Can You Make Direct Health Claims About Antiviral Treated Articles?
There are strict regulatory requirements in the US, Canada, and Europe for making health claims. In general, this requires registration or authorization of the product itself as a pesticidal/biocidal device or product. This could be a multi-year investment that is resource-intensive. There can be alternative routes that do not require this approach.
Microban's regulatory team can help you with this should you choose to partner with Microban to treat your products.