Anti-Microbial Coatings for Medical and Underwater Biofouling Applications (RFT-260)

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Invention Summary


Scientists at North Dakota State University have developed a method to confer dual-action and broad-spectrum (gram +, gram -, and yeast) anti-microbial properties into polymers and coatings. The anti-microbial components are quaternary ammonium salts (QAS) and silver. The QAS component is attached to polysiloxane backbone - it may be strongly attached to provide a contact-active anti-microbial, or may be gradually released and leachable. Silver may also be integrated, and the NDSU technology enables silver to be efficiently incorporated just into the outer portion of a surface by dipping into an appropriate silver solution. This means the silver need not be included throughout a polymer or coating layer, but instead can be positioned right at the surface where essentially all the silver is available, and provides a rapid anti-microbial effect once the surface is hydrated. The resulting materials include both a rapidly acting soluble anti-microbial component, and a longer lasting contact-active component to kill microbes that make direct contact with the material.


  • Confer anti-microbial effect to a diverse array of polymers and coatings, ranging from medical devices to underwater instruments
  • Broad efficacy against gram + gram - bacteria, and yeast
  • Tethered QAS disrupts outer membranes, meaning the anti-microbial surface can kill microbes on contact, making attachment to surfaces (and eventual biofilm formation) less likely/rapid
  • Silver can be added in a way that it is embedded, yet remains close to the surface and highly available to provide an immediate anti-microbial flush when hydrated


The technology includes a polysiloxane backbone that enables versatile attachment of QAS with multiple options for salts (e.g. bromides, chlorides, and iodides), as well as a unique approach to incorporate silver so as to maximize its availability.


This technology is patented with fully preserved US patent rights (issued US patent 8,709,394) and is available for licensing/partnering opportunities.


Saurabhi Satam, Business Development and Licensing Associate


RFT, 260, RFT260 

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