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Anti-Viral Properties of Our XDetect Material


Is the BST XDetect material an effective Anti-Viral Material?   List of Products with XDetect Silver-Ion Additive


I’ve been receiving a lot of questions regarding the anti-bacterial properties within the XDetect material and whether they are an effective anti-viral agent against the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2). The short answer is we think it does. In several studies, Silver-Ion Nanotechnology has been shown as a very effective anti-viral agent against other human coronaviruses, influenza, and many other viruses as well.

More specifically, the XDetect material was tested against a surrogate for envelope type of viruses (influenza which is a common stand-in for SARS and other Coronaviruses) with excellent results. Another study looked at Silver-Ion nanotechnology infused countertops made of a ceramic material (Zeolite) and measured how effective they were against another human corona virus (SARS) with excellent results as well. It would seem the natural sterilizing properties of silver would also work against the virus that causes Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

The only way to be certain is to do an actual test of the XDetect material against a live SARS-CoV-2 virus. Unfortunately, the labs that can run these tests are busy doing more focused work towards fixing the current pandemic.

Until I can run the proper tests, the best I can do is offer a brief view of the studies regarding the anti-viral properties of the XDetect material and other Silver-Ion materials. From there, I will leave it to your judgement as to whether the Silver-Ion Nanotechnology present in our XDetect Material will help in your fight against the Covid-19 virus. Below you’ll find a brief discussion of what Silver-Ion Technology is, how it works, and some brief discussions of studies that I referenced above.


What is a Silver-Ion Technology?


Without getting too technical, it’s a Silver-Atom that is missing an electron. This provides it with a positive charge. This positive charge means it is naturally attracted to negatively charged microbe cell membranes of bacteria, fungi, mold, etc and also the outer membranes that encase viruses. It binds to the outside of the virus and disrupts it’s natural activities. Without it’s ability to function normally the virus cannot replicate and it dies.

Our manufacturer blends the Silver-Ions with a very sturdy plastic compound to create the XDetect Material. The Positive charge of the Silver-Ions gives a long-lasting protection against harmful microbes while being non-toxic and safe for use in food manufacturing facilities.


How effective is the silver-ion present in our XDetect material against viruses?


I wish we had a crystal ball that told us this pandemic was on the horizon so we could have run these tests earlier. However most of the testing of this material was focused on Bacteria and Fungi, the usual microbes that would be contaminants in food manufacturing facility. Here is a link to the Material Data Sheet for the XDetect Material. Proceed to Page 5 to see a list of the Bacterias and Fungi that it has been tested against (and succeeded).

Viruses, however, haven’t been explored as thoroughly because they have never been the main concern for food manufacturers. They have been a major concern for healthcare and most of the testing for the applications of silver-ion technologies as an anti-viral material has been focused on healthcare items.


How does testing a material’s effectiveness work…


In the world of viruses there are two main types: enveloped and non-enveloped. Enveloped virus are surrounded by an outer membrane and non-enveloped viruses lack the membrane.  Viral Capsids and Envelopes: Structure and Function

To determine the efficacy of any material against a virus researchers will pick a surrogate from each group to run their tests. Typically if it works against the surrogate, it works against the whole group (however if it doesn’t work on the surrogate that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work on other viruses within that group). Now that’s not where the testing ends. When they receive the positive test results they will take the next step to run their tests against each and every virus within that group (or just the ones they’re concerned about since testing is expensive) before they can certify its effectiveness.


Lets look at some studies…


Luckily for us, the manufacturer has run their initial tests with the XDetect material against both an envelope virus and a non-envelope virus. The Influenza virus was used as the surrogate and the XDetect material was effective against it:

“The assessment against virus exists in ISO18184 (fiber) and ISO21702 (polymer incorporation).
Regarding the virus used in such testing is, for the envelope type, influenza virus is used, where for non-envelope type, Noro virus is applied.
Corona virus belongs to envelope type virus, therefore, we anticipate their activity would show in a similar manner as Influenza.
In the case of the BST additive, we consider the end use is related to direct polymer incorporation, therefore, ISO21702 would be the test applied.
In this, we have confirmed the efficacy against Influenza

While the above study looked at the specific material that are used in our products, other studies have looked at other materials that utilize Silver-Ion materials for their anti-viral needs. Perstop, a Swedish manufactuer of silver-ion infused polymers, uses the compound for their countertops. To test their countertops’ anti-viral properties, they exposed its surface to the SARS virus from the early 2000s. They had a few key findings:

Zhang Panhe, professor at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in China, recently stated, “We tested the compound against a four-hour, eight-hour, and 24-hour exposure period and found no surviving SARS virus upon 24 hours of exposure to the polymer…”

In other words, when the polymer was purposely contaminated by the SARS virus, it began killing the virus within four hours, and had killed all SARS viruses on the surface within 24 hours.

Another company AgION Technologies created a ceramic material infused with Silver-Ion and tested it against the human coronavirus strain 229E, a common surrogate against the SARS and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19). Their tests found even stronger results than the Perstop study. They exposed the virus to their Zeolite material which combines silver-ion technology with ceramic and they found that:

The research demonstrated significant reductions of the virus within 1 hour (90 percent) and reduced virus levels to below the detection limit following 24 hours of exposure (99.99 percent).

Further, Dr. Gerba who conducted the test made stronger and broader claims about it’s efficacy against the SARS and human Corona Viruses:

The fact that the ionic silver is effective against this human coronavirus strain suggests that it may also be effective in reducing the human SARS virus, which has caused widespread illness in numerous countries throughout the world. Since the compound is both safe and effective, there are countless potential applications.

An earlier study by Dr. Craig Feied found the same results regarding the Zeolite material and takes it a step further to claim that the material should be used in Pens, Clipboards, and other items to reduce the risk of transmission beyond just surfaces but other commonly used materials that can transmit the virus as well. Novel Antimicrobial Surface Coatings And The Potential For Reduced Fomite Transmission Of SARS And Other Pathogens

Other researchers have taken a broader lens and tested the anti-viral efficacy against a number of different viruses. They looked at HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, Monkey Pox, TCRV, RSV, and of course influenza and found that silver-ion inhibited the growth and spread of all of the viruses to some degree. They do note differing results dependent on the size of the nano-particles and the type of virus. While they find that silver-ion was effective against each virus, they stop short of making bolder claims as to whether it is an effective anti-viral against those virus. It concludes that this study does show that silver-ion does work against viruses, but that further research into each one is needed to make stronger claims as to whether silver-ion is an “effective” way to combat the spread of these viruses. Application Of Silver Nanoparticles In Viral Inhibition: A New Hope For AntiVirals


And so we conclude…


In conclusion, I’m looking forward to the day we are able to run a test to determine the utility of the XDetect Material specifically against the SARS-CoV-2 virus so that we can know for sure. For now we have done quite a bit of testing that point to the efficacy of the Silver-Ion technology within the XDetect material that would make us believe that it will work as an anti-viral material. It has successfully been tested against Influenza, a common surrogate for Coronaviruses. Other materials using similar silver-ion applications have shown effectiveness against many other viruses, including other Coronaviruses like SARS and MERS.  But without the specific tests against a live SARS-CoV-2 virus (and out of a fear of the dreaded l-word that rhymes with saw and loot) we cannot say with any more certainty than the humble opinion of an expert in supply distribution. Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, concerns, or just a good recipe for great beef stew at:


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