Applied materials science for biological and medical areas


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nik Ahmad Nizam Nik Malek

Nowadays, there is increasing demands for the powerful, versatile, easy-to-handle and cheap antimicrobial agents. It is due to the increasing microbial resistance to conventional antimicrobial agents. Failure of some antimicrobial agents to kill microbial cells or inhibit microbial growth can cause increasing diseases related pathogenic microorganisms. Thus, the needs of having a hygienic lifestyle are crucial nowadays

Therefore, one technique in preventing infection of microbial to humans is the use of powerful yet safe antimicrobial agents in our daily products that can kill a wide spectrum of pathogenic-microorganism or inhibit their growth. Antimicrobial agents can be divided into many types such as Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QAC), antimicrobial metals (Ag, Zn or Cu), alcohols, chlorine, etc.

One of the prominent antimicrobial agents nowadays is silver nanoparticles (SN) that can kill a wide spectrum of bacteria and it has been used in many products such as in washing machine, deodorant, household products, coating materials, etc. The particle size of silver-nanoparticles is below 100 nm (100 x 10-9 m) However, the usage of SN is uneconomical because of the high production cost and safety issues related to the handling of the very tiny form of nanomaterials.

Our product is called DUAL-ANTIBAX because of the combination of two antimicrobial agents (QAC and antimicrobial metals) in one carrier system (clay). DUAL-ANTIBAX is a powerful, versatile and easy-to-handle antimicrobial agent because it has synergistic effects of two antimicrobial agents and it can be produced according to the level of treatment. DUAL-ANTIBAX is in powder form, thus it is easy to be managed, handled, stored and transported. It can be considered cheap because the carrier system is made from naturally occurring clay and the production cost is low due to simple manufacturing techniques. It is proven from our previous antimicrobial assay that it has higher antimicrobial activity compared to single antimicrobial agents (QAC-clay and Ag-Clay). It can perform well in solutions containing electrolyte such as in a saline solution. DUAL-ANTIBAX is better than the existing antimicrobial products because they only using single antimicrobial agents that the ability to kill or inhibit microbial growth is limited