Heraeus acquires exclusive license for antimicrobial shield

Hanau, 26. November 2020

In the middle of the Corona pandemic, Heraeus contributes to the combat against viruses and germs with an environmentally friendly, completely new technology. The Hanau-based technology group has acquired the exclusive license for AGXX particles, a catalytically driven antimicrobial protective shield, from the Berlin start-up Largentec.

Heraeus will now bring the full potential of the technology to market maturity for various fields of application. "We are currently working at full speed to introduce AGXX particles into materials and products that are susceptible to colonization by germs. AGXX can thus also make a contribution to contain COVID-19," says Martin Danz, Head of Business Development at Heraeus Precious Metals.

AGXX particles have an excellent antimicrobial effect, which has already been successfully tested against more than 130 microorganisms, including Sars-CoV-2 viruses. In addition, AGXX offers many other advantages compared to conventional antimicrobial solutions: The AGXX particles contain neither pharmaceuticals nor toxic organics. The effect is also not based on the release of metal ions. The innovative AGXX technology generates free oxygen radicals in situ on the surfaces, which are mainly responsible for the antimicrobial effect. Therefore, AGXX does not lose its effectiveness during a longer time. Subsequent costs due to maintenance and renewal can be significantly reduced.

Various application areas for AGXX

The possible areas of application for AGXX are many and varied: tests are being carried out on face masks, medical products, paints, varnishes, textiles, air conditioning systems or even on surfaces and handles in buses or trains. Even in space on the International Space Station ISS, AGXX has already proven itself. Researchers have tested various coatings on the toilet door, including the new AGXX agent. The result: after six months, no germs have survived on the surface coated with AGXX, unlike, for example, on the surface coated only with silver.

But how exactly does the technology work? AGXX is a highly efficient, antimicrobial system based on catalytic redox reactions and microelectric field effects. In the presence of air humidity, oxygen is converted into reactive oxygen species (ROS), which react with harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi and kill them. In this way, materials that contain or are coated with AGXX effectively prevent biofilm formation. At the same time, they are free from pharmaceuticals and do not release metal ions into the environment. This results in a long-lasting antimicrobial effect.