What Are Antimicrobial Agents?

Defining Antimicrobial Agents

Antimicrobial agents are any substances that kill or slow the growth of microbes. These substances can be derived from naturally occurring substances or can be synthetic. They are highly regulated in the United States and many other countries to ensure that the products and solutions that utilize them are safe for consumers and for the environment and ultimately provide value to the consumers.

Some commonly used antimicrobial agents include:

  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Zinc

Microban® silver technology works individually with polymer manufacturers to make SilverShield® integration as simple and seamless as possible without disruption to existing manufacturing processes.

Microban ZPTech® is a wide-spectrum antimicrobial and is based on zinc pyrithione, which was first developed in the 1930s for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Zinc pyrithione is also used in paints, textiles and polymer products to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi on susceptible surfaces.

Microban is equipped to study and refine these antimicrobial agents and solutions with antimicrobial testing labs including analytical testing, antimicrobial testing, a microbiology lab, an engineering lab, product development, technical development, quality assurance & testing and sustainability. With all of these facilities and departments working together, you can be sure that Microban antimicrobial agents are a product of superior science and research and detailed study that ensures they are safe and effective for you and your customers.

How Antimicrobial Agents Work

Microban antimicrobial agents are added to products during the manufacturing process and become an intrinsic part of the product. These antimicrobial agents typically work through four mechanisms to disrupt the vital life processes of microbes and help prevent the formation of drug-resistant bacteria:

  • Protein Damage: antimicrobial agents attack the proteins of a microbe, causing failure of essential functions
  • Cell Disruption: antimicrobial agents damage the membrane of a microbe, leading to the loss of critical nutrients
  • Oxidative Damage: antimicrobial agents cause increased oxygen levels, leading to significant damage to the internal systems of a microbe
  • DNA Disruption: antimicrobial agents interfere with the genetics of a microbe, ultimately preventing its growth and reproduction

Microban silver technologies work to disrupt the metabolism of bacteria by preventing conversion of nutrients into energy, which inhibits bacteria survival, reproduction and colonization. The additive remains inert until it encounters an environment where bacteria can proliferate. Only then will it release tiny quantities of antimicrobial silver ions to inhibit bacterial growth. Microban zinc technologies act by disrupting internal enzymes, blocking metabolic pathways and creating an environment in which bacteria, mold and mildew cannot grow. Once an antimicrobial additive technology has been incorporated into your product, it will actively eliminate surface microbial growth 24/7 and for the expected lifetime of the product.

Unlike many antimicrobial technologies on the market today, Microban antimicrobial agents were developed for optimal product integration. This means that during the product manufacturing process, Microban antimicrobial additives can be infused with existing product materials for minimal manufacturing disruption. This reduces overhead cost while ensuring the antimicrobial technology is built into the product itself allowing for fast acting antimicrobial protection.

Explore Microban Antimicrobial Agents

Microban antimicrobial agents allow you to offer your customers superior products through our superior science and research behind all of our antimicrobial solutions. Partner with Microban and offer your customers the high-performing antimicrobial products they want so they can continue to live on with added peace of mind. Contact us today to get started!