Livinguard’s pioneering disinfection technology has numerous performance-enhancing applications. They range from hospital textiles to athletic footwear; they eliminate microbes in solids, liquids and air. Potential uses promise to revolutionize other attractive markets.
A major risk in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities stems from hospital-associated infections (HAI), which affect millions of patients worldwide yearly and cause tens of thousands of deaths. “HAI pose a high health threat to patients,” says Sanjeev Swamy, Livinguard chief technology officer. “Hospital patients are susceptible to germs, including, research has shown, those from contaminated bed linens. We think treating them with Livinguard, which can eliminate microbes within minutes and survive numerous cycles of laundering and handling, can protect the textiles. In doing so it can safeguard patients and healthcare workers alike from hidden pathogens and contribute notably to infection prevention. We view this as a major market for us and as a lasting benefit for everyone.”
“Saafkins” are sanitary napkins that Livinguard manufactures itself. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls in India already use them, and they exemplify how self-disinfection technology can boost the health and well-being of millions of people worldwide. Affordable and reusable, Saafkins provide 12-hour menstrual hygiene protection that lasts roughly one year. They not only reduce the risk of infection but enable low-income girls and women to go to school and work on days they had previously been unable to, and thus to lead more normal lives. The performance of numerous hygiene products, from disposable panty liners to incontinence pads, can be vastly improved by incorporating Livinguard in them.
Antimicrobials are widely used in textiles found in functional sports apparel and footwear. These silver and copper-based products seek to control the odor-causing bacteria common in human perspiration. The apparel industry is increasingly recognizing that they do not work well and wash out quickly. By delivering a much more effective and lasting odor protection, this market is potentially a lucrative one for Livinguard. Also, Livinguard doesn’t stop at combatting odor but can eradicate the fungi in socks and shoes that cause athlete’s foot.
Filter candles made of Livinguard-treated fabric can turn microbiologically contaminated water into safe, clean drinking water. They reliably remove a broad spectrum of microorganisms, at demonstrated rates exceeding 99.999999% for bacteria, 99.999% for viruses and 99.9999% for coliphage. Water purification using Livinguard requires no electricity or chemical dosing, lasts long and is thus very affordable. About 1,500 community filter systems are currently in use in India, being funded by the corporate social responsibility programs of such companies as Yes Bank and Tata. Livinguard is pursuing commercial ventures to license its technology and integrate it into electrical household filter systems, table-top jug filters and industrial water purification systems.
“We’re excited to seize the opportunities we see around us,” says Ken McMahon, chief executive officer of Livinguard. “Right now we’re focusing on our core markets, medical textiles, water and air purification, sports apparel, and hygienic pads, but we consider potential applications almost limitless. We’re working on self-disinfecting, reusable face masks to protect people from airborne microbes in polluted air, and we also see an obvious market in handy-type wipes and other products for home cleanliness and disinfection.”