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AGXX kills germs with a special mechanism of action

We encounter viruses and bacteria everywhere in our daily lives and, of course, they do not stop at our clothing. Here, their spectrum ranges from causing unpleasant odors to trigger serious diseases. Conventional antimicrobial solutions often release substances such as metal ions, which in turn can be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment and also have a relatively short-term effect. A new technology called AGXX, on the other hand, uses a mechanism of action based on a catalytic reaction that provides long-lasting protection.

When harmful germs spread, they can not only affect the life of materials but also directly threaten human life. An important starting point in the fight against microorganisms here is the textiles we wear all the time and encounter everywhere. With them, antimicrobial equipment quickly pays off, especially in sensitive areas such as hospital and nursing home wards. Appropriately prepared workwear prevents the spread of contagious infections. The German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research (DITF) and Heraeus Precious Metals, as developers and suppliers, are currently testing the incorporation of AGXX into textiles for the healthcare sector. In Germany alone, an estimated 20,000 people die each year as a result of hospital germs. But it doesn't just have to be a matter of life and death. The technology also ensures, for example, increased comfort in sportswear by preventing unpleasant perspiration odors, or a longer application time for textile filters.

Two women in blue scrubs talking to each other

Our contribution: highly effective antimicrobial technology based on precious metals.

The AGXX technology developed by Heraeus Precious Metals combines five advantages: it has a broad-spectrum effect, lasts for a long time because no metal ions are released, is based solely on a catalytic reaction with water and oxygen, thus preventing the formation of resistances, and offers a range of applications far beyond textiles.

This is made possible by the novel mechanism of action: AGXX is a highly efficient catalytic technology that utilizes the interaction of two precious metals and is based on redox reactions and micro electric field effects. In this process, the oxygen present in combination with water from atmospheric moisture is converted into oxygen radicals (ROS). These in turn react with the microorganisms and reliably kill them. At the same time, this prevents the formation of biofilms.

AGXX powder spilling out of a jar laying on its side

For this purpose, the AGXX particles in powder form do not contain pharmaceuticals, nor is their effect based on the release of metal ions. "Nevertheless, we have been able to demonstrate efficacy against more than 130 microorganisms, including dangerous bacteria such as silver-resistant E. coli or methicilin-resistant S. aureus strains and, of course, covid viruses" emphasizes Martin Danz, Head of Antimicrobial Technologies at Heraeus Precious Metals. Tests with ISO standards 22196 and 20743 have confirmed the effect in textiles. AGXX has already been incorporated into lyocell and polyamide fibers as well as polyurethane-based coatings. All these materials showed excellent antimicrobial efficacy even after several washing cycles.

Due to its positive properties, AGXX is suitable not only for textiles but also for many other applications such as plastics, facade and antifouling paints, air-conditioning technology, protective masks, medical devices, or sanitary equipment.