At an event in London, British researchers unveiled to the world the very first medical gloves designed to prevent the spread of infection. The team predicts that their product will be a game changer, selling in the billions in the coming years.
The gloves were developed by the UK-based antimicrobial R&D company Chemical Intelligence, with funding from Hartalega Malaysia, the largest producer of nitrile gloves in the world. Chemical Intelligence closely worked with Professor Richard James and Dr. Paul Wight, both at the University of Nottingham.
To ward off infection, the gloves contain an active microorganism-killing substance on their surface. The molecules are inserted into the glove’s material, meaning no additional application of an antimicrobial solution is required.
Tests suggest that 99.99% of any germs that came into contact with the gloves were killed within five minutes.
“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,” James said in a statement.
It’s estimated that in the EU alone, 37,000 pre-mature deaths can be attributed to cross-contamination in hospitals, costing the healthcare system 7 billion euros. The standard medical glove has remained virtually unchanged for the last 30 years but James and colleagues hope that their innovation will finally bring a much needed revamp and save many lives in the process across the globe.
It took six years and millions of dollars to develop the first non-leaching antimicrobial medical gloves in the world. According to the researchers, the gloves will be manufactured at a low cost in order to prevent access barriers.
“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,” said RobGrossaid, the founder of Chemical Intelligence UK.
Also this year, American company GloDea introduced the market the very first antimicrobial gloves meant for the foodservice industry. These gloves provide a broad spectrum of antimicrobial performance against a wide range of microorganisms, including MRSA, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Pseudomonas, Candida, Corynebacterium, Klebsiella, etc.