University scientist helps create world-first antimicrobial medical gloves

31 May 2018 12:15:00.000

A new type of medical examination glove that has built in antimicrobial technology proven to prevent the spread of infection has been developed with help from University of Nottingham scientists. 

The new gloves are the first non-leaching antimicrobial medical gloves in the world. They are eventually expected to sell in their billions as healthcare organisations strive to fight infection and combat antimicrobial resistance. 

Professor Emeritus Richard James, has been working for several years on the project with medical glove makers Hartalega Malaysia and antimicrobial research and development company Chemical Intelligence UK. Professor of Infectious Diseases, Roger Finch and Nottingham chemistry alumnus Dr Paul Wight, and Tim Self, Head of the School of Life Sciences Imaging Unit were also closely involved with the development and testing of the gloves. 

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The gloves are the first to contain a new active microorganism-killing molecule designed to prevent the spread of bacteria to and from surfaces and people. As the technology is built into the material, the gloves don’t need surface applications of further solutions or chemicals. 

In independent testing, the gloves achieved up to a 99.9% kill within just five minutes of contact. Part of the testing was carried out in the Advanced Microscopy Unit at the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Biomolecular Science. 

Professor James said: “These gloves will be a game-changer for the healthcare industry, both public and private. I am delighted that my lifetime’s research into bacteria and antibiotic resistance has directly informed the science behind a practical tool that will have a major impact on medical care in the future.” 

Mr Kuan Mun Leong, Managing Director of Hartalega Holdings Berhad, said: “In the European Union alone, cross-contamination in hospitals results in 37,000 deaths a year at an additional cost of 7 billion euros. By renovating a medical device that has not been remodelled in over 30 years, our innovation is set to make waves in the healthcare industry and save lives across the globe.” 

The product has been in the research and development phase for over six years with millions of dollars of funding already being channelled into it and various stages of testing completed.

The gloves will be available in hospitals around the world because the manufacturing partnership will make sure the product is being produced at a low cost in order to prevent barriers to access.

Founder of Chemical Intelligence UK, Rob Gros said of the partnership: “After years of development, we are delighted to finally release this product to market and truly believe it will make a significant difference in the fight against healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Like Hartalega, we have a passion for innovation and together we are the perfect partners to release this technology.”

Hartalega funded and backed UK based Chemical Intelligence in the development of the revolutionary technology alongside Professor Richard James and chemist and Nottingham alumnus, Dr Paul Wight.  This ground-breaking innovation –  which also has the patent in the US –  is the result of a joint mission between the two Companies. 

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


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