A patented polymer material developed by Kraton Corp. (Houston; www.kraton.com) has shown rapid antimicrobial capabilities with expected long-lasting self-disinfecting efficacy. Currently pursuing regulatory review in the U.S. and other select countries for use as an antimicrobial agent, Biaxam is a copolymer with an active sulfonated block that is permanently attached to the larger molecule, yielding a pentablock structure that balances antimicrobial activity with structural strength and flexibility (diagram). While there are other self-disinfecting products on the market, Biaxam is said to be the first to be tested against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). It demonstrated long-lasting self-sterilizing effects. “There are many sterilizing products on the market that are based on zinc, copper and silver as the active ingredient. However, many of those products are not fast-acting, unlike Biaxam, which can inactivate 99.99% of microbes in as little as five minutes,” explains Vijay Mhetar, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Kraton. Combining fast antimicrobial action with longer-lasting sanitizing sets Biaxam apart, says Mhetar, since most products currently on the market are only effective immediately, or require periodic treatment or reapplication.
Biaxam is manufactured using well-established styrenic-block copolymer chemistry, and Kraton is currently outlining its capabilities to scale up production once required regulatory approval is obtained. The company is also in discussion with a number of potential partners to explore applications for Biaxam. “Biaxam could be used in a variety of non-porous, non-food, high-contact surfaces, such as countertops, door handles, elevator buttons and public transportation surfaces, among others. It can be applied as a film, coating or replaceable peel-and-stick application,” adds Mhetar.