Research to be presented at SHEA on a novel textile that delivers fluid barrier and antimicrobial protection as well as comfort
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 5, 2011) – Three studies on a novel textile technology presented at the 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting of The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America suggest that new personal protection standards in medical apparel are possible. The research was conducted on Vestex™ brand fabric VTT003, a fabric finished with a hydrophobic barrier and the antimicrobial Semeltec™. The technologically advanced fabric technology was developed for apparel to better protect health care workers in clinical settings and to drive compliance by offering comfort to the wearer.
Weill Medical College of Cornell University researcher Thomas Walsh, MD, led a team to assess the protective properties of VTT003. The fabric passed the five standard tests used to evaluate all products employed in a health care setting. The standards are water resistance, hydrostatic pressure, synthetic blood, dry bacterial penetration and wet bacterial penetration. The study suggests that “further testing of VTT003 performance is warranted” as “reducing the transmission of blood, bodily fluids, and other contaminants via HCW and patient worn textiles is of vital importance in occupational safety and infection control programs.”
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University tested the efficacy of Vestex scrub uniforms on the bacterial burden of apparel and hands. Gonzalo Bearman, MD, MPH, led the four month, cross-over trial in a medical ICU that found Vestex scrubs “were associated with decreased MRSA burden” when compared to standard scrubs and no impact was seen on HCW hand colonization. Additionally, “when bundled with infection prevention strategies, antimicrobial impregnated scrubs may limit the bacterial burden of apparel.”
A study at the MedStar Health Research Institute in Washington, D.C., evaluated the susceptibility of Semeltec and subsequently, VTT003, to Clostridium difficile (C. diff), one of the most common and fastest growing infectious agents in health care facilities.
Led by Matthew Hardwick, PhD, Director, Laboratory of Clinical Investigations MedStar Health Research Institute, and designed and conducted by Mary Beth Minyard, MSCLS, M(ASCP) of Southern Research Institute, the study exposed C. diff to dilutions of Semeltec in three time-kill assays for five, 10 and 15 minutes. All dilutions of the antimicrobial were “highly effective in killing C. diff organism[s] within five minutes.” Furthermore, “VTT003 fabric, embedded with Semeltec and a hydrophobic barrier, maintains this killing effect after overnight incubation” which suggests that “VTT003 may represent a novel antimicrobial fabric for use as an anti-infective barrier, specifically against C. diff, in healthcare institutions.” “I believe Vestex textiles have a strong future in helping to reduce microbial burden in health care facilities,” Hardwick said. Minyard added, “I was skeptical at first, but pleasantly surprised with our findings. When I see an agent—in this case a textile—demonstrate efficacy against an organism as important as C. diff, I am reminded of how important this work is to health care settings and the community.”
Vestex was developed by Orlando-based Vestagen Technical Textiles. Its patented technology repels blood and bodily fluids, and contains an antimicrobial that protects the fabric from degradation due to microorganisms. In addition, Vestex is breathable, perspiration-wicking and naturally self-cleaning, helping to keep medical personnel clean, cool and dry.
“This research validates the plausibility of new standards for medical textiles to better protect health care workers and patients,” said Ben Favret, president and CEO of Vestagen. “There are strict textile standards to protect health care workers in operating rooms, but not outside of the operating room where there are many splashes, splatters and spills. But because personal protection apparel is generally uncomfortable, compliance is often as low as 30 to 50 percent. The results of these studies are encouraging because they suggest that Vestex can provide protection as well as comfort, making compliance easier.”
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America advances the science of health care epidemiology and infection prevention by addressing a variety of quality-of-care issues.
About Vestagen Technical Textiles LLC
Vestagen Technical Textiles is an Orlando-based marketer and manufacturer of advanced performance textiles. Vestagen is led by a skilled management team with nearly a century of combined experience in the health care textile and apparel industries. Backed by V-Ten Capital Partners, Vestagen is committed to creating innovative textile solutions.
About MedStar Health
MedStar Health combines the best aspects of academic medicine, research, innovation and treatments with a complete spectrum of clinical services to advance patient care. As the largest health care provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., regions, MedStar’s nine hospitals, the MedStar Health Research Institute and 20 other health-related companies are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. MedStar has one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the country training over 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar also has a major academic affiliation with Georgetown University. MedStar Health is a $4 billion, not-for-profit, regional health care system based in Columbia, M.D., that is also one of the largest employers in the region. Its 26,000 associates and 5,300 affiliated physicians all support MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy that combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. Visit us at http://www.medstarhealth.org/
About Southern Research
Southern Research Institute, founded in 1941, is an independent nonprofit organization conducting basic and applied research and development. More than 530 employees support commercial and government clients and partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, defense, aerospace, environmental and energy sectors through technology out-licensing, sponsored research, and strategic collaborations. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Southern Research has facilities in Wilsonville, Ala., Frederick, Md., and Durham, N.C. and offices in Huntsville, Ala., New Orleans, La., Washington, D.C. and Kiev, Ukraine. For more information about our capabilities, contact us by email at BusDev@SouthernResearch.org or call 888.322.1166 (U.S.) or 205.581.2830 (International).