airmid healthgroup demonstrates baby mattress is effective allergen barrier

“Our investment in independent research with our ISO accredited partner, airmid healthgroup, provided our customers with the reassurance that science underpins our product claims relating to Allergen Barrier Efficacy of the base fabric on AeroSleep Baby Protect Mattress”.

Declan Power, Director at Bluebear Nursery.

THE CLIENT
Bluebear Nursery has been researching and distributing high-quality and competitively priced baby nursery products in Ireland since 2003 and the UK since 2009. As part of their selection criteria and value proposition to customers, Bluebear Nursery endeavours to give 100% support and back-up to partners and customers through supporting allergen product claims through science.
bluebear nursery

Commissioning airmid healthgroup to substantiate the effectiveness of the AeroSleep Baby Protect Mattress fabric as an effective barrier demonstrates this commitment. We will continue to bring the very best quality products to the consumer for many years to come.

THE BUSINESS NEED
An increasing number of retailers and consumers are sceptical and confused by unsubstantiated allergen product claims. That’s why it was crucial for Bluebear to seek independent validation of their desired allergen barrier claims.

Despite being an established and respected distributor of consumer products for babies in both Ireland and the UK, Bluebear’s continuous drive to underpin their product health claims with science motivated their collaboration with airmid healthgroup.

Partnering with airmid healthgroup, the world’s first ISO 17025:2005 accredited testing laboratory for house dust mite (Der p 1) and cat allergen (Fel d 1), Bluebear sought to substantiate the allergen barrier efficacy of the base fabric on the AeroSleep Baby Protect mattress.

 

THE CHALLENGES
Bluebear wanted results that:

  1. established the allergen barrier efficacy of the base fabric on the AeroSleep Baby Protect mattress, and
  2. were industry relevant, repeatable and accurate

THE SOLUTION
airmid healthgroup scientists conducted two allergen barrier tests:

(a) Allergen Barrier Test With Airflow:  This textile allergen barrier test utilises house dust with a known concentration of House Dust Mite & Cat Allergen (Der p 1 & Fel d 1), which is pulled across the fabric.  A filter located downstream collects any allergen that passes through a fabric by airflow. The amount recovered on the filter is extracted and quantified using an ELISA kit specific for different types of allergens. The data from this allows manufacturers and retailers to directly claim allergen blocking ability for fabrics against a number of allergens.

(b) Simulated Use Allergen Barrier Test:  This textile allergen barrier test utilises house dust with a known concentration of House Dust Mite & Cat Allergen (Der p 1 & Fel d 1 respectively), which is transferred across the fabric.  A dual chamber device is used, house dust and steel bearings to simulate the pressure of use are located at one end; the chamber is rotated for 20 hours. A chamber located at the opposite end collects any allergen that passes across the fabric. The amount recovered is extracted and quantified using a Der p 1 & Fel d 1 ELISA kit. The data from this allows manufacturers and retailers to directly claim allergen blocking ability for fabrics against a number of allergens.

aerosleep logoTHE RESULT
The base fabric of the AeroSleep Baby Protect Mattress, manufactured by AeroSleep and distributed by Bluebear Nursery, demonstrated

  1. 100% Allergen Barrier Efficacy against both House Dust Mite and Cat Allergen in the Allergen Barrier with Airflow test, and
  2. 99.77% and 100% Allergen Barrier Efficacy against House Dust Mite and Cat Allergen respectively in the Simulated Use Allergen Barrier Test.

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airmid finds Vitra’s light-activated antibacterial tiles 99.9% efficient at killing MRSA, E. Coli and Athlete’s Foot fungus

THE CLIENT

crest-logoSponsored by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and Enterprise Ireland (EI), the Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology (CREST)  was set up, to boost and combine the Institute’s research activity in favour of the industrial and academic communities. The Centre offers services ranging from material surface characterisation and corrosion control to the development of coatings and Nano-materials for diverse industries.

THE BUSINESS NEED

radical logoCREST and DIT developed a light-activated antibacterial surface coating, which was licensed by Radical-Coatings, a scientific spin out company launched in 2010. Radical-Coatings, the technology transfer company for CREST, were working with a tile manufacturer VitrA Ireland to produce antibacterial coating for tiles to sell specifically into the healthcare and swimming pool markets.

The coating of the tiles contains titanium dioxide, which when exposed to UV light creates free radicals that can kill bacteria. However as Radical-Coating’s target market is hospitals and swimming pools UV light reacting tiles are not practical. Therefore CREST and Radical-Coating altered the technology to react to visible light.

In order to achieve third party validation and provide Radical-Coating with world class data to present to international markets, the tiles needed to be tested according to the ISO 27447 standard.

 

THE CHALLENGES

scientists-with-tilesRadical-Coating wanted their product tested to the ISO 27447 Standard, which measures the antibacterial activity of UV induced titanium dioxide coating, however as the technology was altered to react with visible light, the method of testing had to be adapted.

They also wanted the coating tested against different bacterial strains. Keeping their target market in mind, Radical-Coating wanted to specifically test the coating against MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) and Trichophyton rubrum (an Athlete’s Foot fungus). As there are several types of fungi that cause Athlete’s Foot, it was vital that airmid healthgroup's team selected the right ones, aligned with Radical-Coating’s project goals.

The amount of sample testing required resulted in the generation of hundreds of plates and so the time management, sample tracking and interpretation had to be accurate and controlled.

THE SOLUTION

The airmid healthgroup team applied an open approach to the project, involving the client at all stages this ensured the results of the research were in line with their objectives.
The study investigated the antibacterial reactions of 4 types of semiconducting photocatalytic using MRSA and Trichophyton rubrum.

StagMaire-Geoghegan-Quinne 1: MRSA Testing
The ISO 27447 2009 test method for antibacterial activity of semiconducting photocatalytic materials was used as a guide during testing, although a number of deviations to this standard were agreed with the client in advance of testing commencement. After exposure to the MRSA strain the sample was incubated aerobically for 24 hours before serial dilutions were carried out. The  Tile samples were incubated under two different light exposures.

Stage 2: Trichophyton rubrum Testing
Antifungal activity of semi-conducting photocatalytic materials is not within the scope of ISO 27447 although testing was conducted based on this standard. Pure cultures of Trichophyton rubrum were grown and allowed to sporulate over a period of 5 weeks. Serial dilutions were made and tested on the tiles. Incubation conditions identical to those carried out during MRSA testing were applied.

innovation-convention-dec-2011

THE RESULT

After completing the research, airmid healthgroup validated that the light-activated antibacterial surface coating technology is 99.9% efficient at killing MRSA, E. Coli and the Trichophyton rubrum fungus that causes Athlete’s Foot.

CREST, Radical-Coating and VitrA Ireland showcased the tiling product range at the first European Innovation Convention in Brussels in December 2011. The innovative and ground-breaking technology was one of only 50 projects selected from 450 entries to take part in the inaugural event.

As the airmid research was independent, CREST now use the report data in their presentations on the subject as it clearly demonstrates how effective the tiles are in killing these bacteria.

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