In Microbiology, News & Views

A challenging aspect of marketing BioCote antimicrobial technology is that once added to a product the technology cannot be seen, this, in conjunction with the fact its effects are also difficult to demonstrate visually and you begin to appreciate the issue. People like to see a product at work in order to appreciate its benefit, and why not? But just how do you visualise antimicrobial activity from a treated product? Microbes are, after all, too small to be seen with the naked eye so visualisation of them without specialist equipment is difficult. This is the challenge we set our team of microbiologists – to visualise the effect microbes have on materials because of their presence and activity.

The growth of microbes on a product sounds unpleasant in fact it can pose a serious threat to the health of anyone that is to come into contact with it. What is perhaps less well observed is that when microbes colonise an everyday product they can cause odour, staining and material degradation. Therefore if the material is treated with an effective antimicrobial agent and is consequently resistant to these tell-tale signs of microbial attack; we potentially have a way of visualising its protective effect when comparing a protected product to an untreated equivalent. It’s a similar concept to the ‘before and after’ approach, in this instance after the application of BioCote technology and exposure to an array of microbes.



With this in mind we bought a brand new pair of traditional white canvas pumps. One was sprayed with a BioCote antimicrobial treatment formulated specifically for fabrics and the other was left untouched and acted as the test control. Both shoes were then contaminated with a cocktail of microbes that had been collected from the environment. After that it was a waiting game to see what developed on each shoe. Having confidence in our innovative technology, we were sure we would see some interesting results, and we weren’t disappointed.  Our pictures below will allow you to judge for yourself if this experiment was a success or not.



Although you can’t see it, the only difference between the two shoes in the picture at the start of the study is that one is BioCote ‘protected’ whilst the other isn’t. However, as you can see, by the end of the study the difference is clear: the shoe without BioCote protection is heavily contaminated with microbes and has discoloured. What we might have considered signs of general wear is actually the visual impact of microbes that have colonised the shoe during the study. What the photograph cannot begin to indicate is quite how bad it smells! That is a whole different study. By comparison, the treated shoe looks and smells box fresh! This as you can see is BioCote antimicrobial technology at work.

Stand by for further visual examples of the benefits of BioCote antimicrobial technology in the BioCote blog.

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