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University of Manchester launches new anti-MRSA product

Scientists at The University of Manchester, along with healthcare product manufacturer Brimaid, have unveiled a new product which aims to aid hospitals in the fight against MRSA. The BioKab is a bedside cabinet which has been specifically designed to reduce the spread and infection of harmful bacteria in hospital wards.

The cabinet is made from a polyethylene plastic impregnated with an antibacterial agent proven to kill the MRSA bug. The cabinet's unique soft-edge radiused-corner design and its light weight also means it is easy for hospital staff to keep clean and move, thus further preventing the harbouring of bacteria.

Professor Stephen Bush, Director of The University of Manchester's Centre for Manufacture, who led the design and production team for the cabinet with Nigel Ball of Ergo Design, said: "As well as direct human contact, MRSA can be passed indirectly to patients via bacteria resting on the surfaces of hospital equipment and furniture contained in wards. However, with the BioKab's specially impregnated surface this cross-contamination is eliminated and germs will not survive."

The BioKab body and surfaces are impregnated at the manufacturing stage with IRGAGUARD - an inorganic antimicrobial. It works by breaking down and destroying cells of bacteria which come into contact with the cabinet. Silver ion, which is the active ingredient in IRGAGUARD also binds to the DNA of the cell stopping it from spreading. It does not degrade with time and is temperature-stable to well over 500C.

The Biokab's plastic structure has been shown to kill MRSA, E Coli, Salmonella and many other harmful bacteria which come into contact with its surface (see Notes).

Measuring just over 89cm (height) by 48cm (square) the BioKab is moulded in one piece, excluding the simply detachable doors. This feature increases cleanliness by eliminating the crevices and corners in which bacteria can thrive and allows effective steam-cleaning. The BioK
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Contact: Simon Hunter
simon.hunter-2@manchester.ac.uk
44-1-612-758-387
University of Manchester
10-May-2005


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