Novel Polymers With Immobilized Antimicrobial Enzymes for Disinfection

EPA Contract Number: 68D00246
Title: Novel Polymers With Immobilized Antimicrobial Enzymes for Disinfection
Investigators: Hitchens, G. Duncan
Small Business: Lynntech Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2000 through March 1, 2001
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The Phase I objective is to investigate the use of novel polymer with immobilized antimicrobial enzymes as all natural, nonreactive, and nontoxic disinfecting materials. The resurgence of infectious diseases in the United States and internationally has created an unprecedented level of awareness of the hazards of bacteria and other microbes. These diseases derive from declining effectiveness of antibiotics, appearance and spread of new pathogens, disposal of human wastes, hospital-related infections, and food-related infections. As a result of increasing demand, a large number of biocides have flooded the market. However, most of these are chemical-based biocides. Biocides like silver, quaternary ammonium salts, phosphonium salts, sulfur compounds, halogenated compounds, and oxidizing chemicals pose a health hazard due to inherited toxicity of these chemicals. Superior methods for control of microbial growth are thus required to contain spread of disease and discomfort associated with microbial infections. Potential areas of application of these polymers include: prevention of biofilm formation, treatment of hydroponic solutions, disinfection of drinking water, enhanced microbial control for hospitals, and control of airborne pathogens in indoor environments. Preliminary experimentation has demonstrated destruction of gram positive and gram negative bacteria in aqueous growth media using immobilized antimicrobial enzymes. The material for improved control of the growth of microorganisms that originate from this work can be applied in a broad variety of commercial applications, including: food processing and preparation, biomedical applications, water purification, and general household hygiene.

Development of antimicrobial polymers have the potential to offer a safe and natural alternative for disinfection. The polymers will be useful for producing antimicrobial catheters, gloves, clothing, food preparation surfaces, food packaging materials, water disinfection, and an antimicrobial coating to protect against microbial colonization of surfaces.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, pollution prevention, engineering, microbiology, chemistry, EPA., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Water, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Microbiology, Disease & Cumulative Effects, New/Innovative technologies, Drinking Water, Engineering, immobilized antimicrobial enzymes, clean technology, novel polymers, microorganisms, enzymes for disinfection, polymers, microbial risk management, biocides, packaging, pollution prevention, drinking water treatment, alternative coatings

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report