Beyond Silver – IDTechEx Examines Alternative Antimicrobial Strategies – Press Release

BOSTON, Aug. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — By now, antimicrobial technologies are well known to the general public, being applied to products ranging from antimicrobial coatings to protect people from bacteria and viruses lingering on high-touch surfaces to antimicrobial infused shirts and socks to help limit malodor. IDTechEx’s market research report, “Antiviral and Antimicrobial Technology Market 2023-2033”, finds that though the field of antimicrobial technology is broad, the majority of established companies in the space focus on antimicrobial metal ions such as silver. Despite their high level of efficacy, there are several reasons to look beyond silver, such as concerns over its environmental impact. IDTechEx examines several alternative approaches in its report, following three central themes.  

Bio-Based Antimicrobial Technologies

One of the approaches companies have taken in developing antimicrobial technologies beyond silver is to look towards nature for inspiration. Relatively few companies are active in this space, and each focuses on developing their own bio-based antimicrobial material. Recent product launches from major players may help to draw more attention to these bio-sourced alternatives, and the marketing often focuses on the materials’ sustainability and eco-friendliness. Examples of commercialized products include plant-based antimicrobials such as citric acid and essential oils from thyme and peppermint, all of which have been known for decades for their antimicrobial properties.

Another bio-based approach, one that is not yet commercialized, involves the use of immobilized antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). AMPs are short amino acid sequences found in nature that have broad antimicrobial efficacy. While promising, the majority of research and development into AMPs focus on therapeutic applications. For example, several antibiotics on the market today are AMPs.  

Immobilizing Disinfectants 

Outside of immobilizing silver ions, companies have also…