March 6, 2008 — /PRNewswire/ — BATESVILLE, IN — Hill-Rom and NanoHorizons, Inc. announce an agreement to incorporate NanoHorizon’s antimicrobial technology into Hill-Rom’s patient support surfaces. This technology, to be branded as nanoAg+TM with SmartSilverTM, will bring new levels of protection against institutionally-borne pathogens.
Hill-Rom, the medical technology subsidiary of Hillenbrand Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HB), is a leading worldwide manufacturer and provider of medical technologies and related services for the health care industry. NanoHorizons, a leader in the field of advanced nanomaterials, engineers and delivers permanent antimicrobial solutions under the SmartSilver brand.
“Our relationship with NanoHorizons is a natural next step in Hill-Rom’s commitment to leveraging and integrating differentiated external technologies to help deliver enhanced outcomes for patients and their caregivers,” says Peter Soderberg, president and CEO of Hillenbrand Industries and Hill-Rom. “Caregivers and health care administrators are looking for solutions on how they can prevent health care-associated infections. We anticipate that our relationship with NanoHorizons will yield a comprehensive portfolio of products with built-in, long-lasting antimicrobial protection. Given how important this issue is for the health care industry, we aim to offer a nanoAg+ with SmartSilver option on all of our preventative and therapeutic surface products by the end of 2009.”
Infection control is one of the critical issues in health care today. In its 2003 guidelines for environmental infection control in health care facilities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified that, “Contaminated textiles and fabrics often contain high numbers of microorganisms from body substances, including blood, skin, stool, urine, vomitus, and other body tissues and fluids.” Further, the CDC estimates that health care-associated infections account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year in US hospitals.
Silver is one of nature’s most powerful antimicrobial agents. In lab tests, it has been found to be 99.9 percent effective in the reduction of surface bacteria and viruses including the virulent staph infection known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Unlocking silver’s properties for use as a protector is a specialized scientific field, an area where NanoHorizons scientists have been leaders. Unlike other silver technologies being offered today, NanoHorizons has pioneered the specific use of nanotechnology to create and manipulate materials that are smaller than 100 nanometers in size. When applied to coatings, fabrics and laminates, nanotechnology allows the silver to cover an area more effectively and last much longer than any other antimicrobial coating, according to Dr. Stephen Fonash, Kunkle chair of engineering science at Penn State University and co-founder of NanoHorizons.
To bring the enhanced benefits of SmartSilver into the hospital and other caregiver settings through application to beds and therapeutic surfaces requires the special expertise of Hill-Rom working with NanoHorizons to create nanoAg+. Together, these two companies will soon introduce nanoAg+ with SmartSilver, a vital new solution for the health care environment.
“The SmartSilver brand is succeeding in a wide variety of fields with partners who share a common interest in delivering leading-edge antimicrobial product protection to today’s marketplace,” says Daniel Hayes, president and CEO of NanoHorizons. “Hill-Rom is an ideal partner for advanced medical equipment applications, given their longstanding commitment to innovation and their unwavering dedication to improved patient outcomes.”
About Nanohorizons, Inc.
NanoHorizons, Inc., with its solid foundation in applied chemistry and engineering, is a leader in the emerging field of practical nanotechnology. NanoHorizon’s SmartSilver antimicrobial offers permanent bacterial control for textiles, medical devices, and industrial materials. NanoHorizons is privately held and headquartered in State College, PA. The company works closely with customers from its R&D laboratory, manufacturing facility, and technical support office adjacent to Penn State University.
Hill-Rom, an operating company of Hillenbrand Industries, Inc., is a leading worldwide manufacturer and provider of medical technologies and related services for the health care industry, including patient support systems, non-invasive therapeutic products for a variety of acute and chronic medical conditions, medical equipment rentals, and workflow information technology solutions. Hill-Rom’s comprehensive product and service offerings are used by health care providers across the health care continuum in hospitals, extended care facilities, and home care settings to enhance the safety and quality of patient care.