Invibio has spent more than five years developing the composite trauma plates as well as orthopaedic nails. The company, which also manufactures materials for spinal fusion devices, says that its PEEK-OPTIMA® polymer is currently used in more than 5 million medical devices worldwide.

Antibacterial Walls

Infections that occur in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are a major challenge to modern medicine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year 1.7 million patients in American hospitals get a healthcare-associated infection, including nearly 100,000 patients for whom the infections are fatal. German manufacturer LAMILUX has developed a composite material to help reduce those numbers.

LAMILUX AntiBac panels, which are designed to be used in the walls and ceilings of hospitals, are made from GFRP coated with an antibacterial nanosilver that the company developed in partnership with Rent-a-Scientist, another German company. The panels provide a second defense against infection as a backup to traditional cleaning with disinfectants. AntiBac suppresses propagation of bacteria for continual protection of surfaces 24 hours a day.

Silver nanoparticles have been used in medicine since the 19th century, when colloidal silver was given as an oral medication prior to the invention of antibiotics. Today, silver nanoparticles are found in a variety of medical products, including bandages and medical devices.

“The AntiBac agent is a special, heavily modified nanosilver, which is similarly used in medicine products,” says Sascha Oswalk, product manager with LAMILUX. According to the company, the nanosilver acts on bacteria by deactivating the cellular enzymes (which hinders metabolism of the cells), destroying the cell membrane and preventing the bacteria to replicate. Oswalk says AntiBac permanently kills over 99.9 percent of bacteria within 24 hours, and the panels are designed to maintain their efficacy for more than 50 years.