Beyond the Pitch
ZeoVation’s Groundbreaking Nanotechnology Improves Safety and Effectiveness
Imagine if the paint on the walls of hospitals could capture harmful bacteria. Or what if the plastic lunch trays in preschools were resistant to the microbes that make kids sick? Or suppose your running shoes and workout socks were made of an advanced material that never smelled.
Those are just a few of the many applications for the “smart” nanoparticles from ZeoVation, an advanced materials startup in Columbus.
ZeoVation provides a platform for advanced materials that can make everyday products cleaner, safer, and resistant to damaging effects.
ZeoVation’s Nanomaterials Are a Gamechanger for Applications in Healthcare, Coatings, Polymers, Textiles, and Sunscreens.
One of ZeoVation’s most innovative materials is a nanozeolite anti-microbial additive that provides lasting protection against harmful bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses, especially MRSA, on surfaces by higher than 99.99 percent.
The controlled release anti-microbial particle has at least a 100-fold anti-microbial potency over current silver-based anti-microbials. It is easy to add the particles to existing formulas and processes without impact on the formulation properties.
Applications abound in hospitals, schools, and other public places. “Think of all the bacteria in a hospital,” said ZeoVation Founding CEO Steve Jones. “It grows on walls, on furniture, and in common areas. Our additive can easily be mixed into paint and other coatings to kill bacteria and prevent it from growing again. You could buy the additive and test it in paint today.”
The anti-microbial ingredient can be used in bandages, wound dressings, and implant materials to prevent infection and provide protection from common infectious bacteria and other contaminants.
“You could put our material on a plastic or metal knee joint replacement,” Jones said, “or mix it in the polymers that go into making plastic trays and cups for preschools.”
The nanozeolite material resists environmental conditions that change other materials, so that the anti-microbial protection could last for years.
“We are designing material that releases what we want it to release when we want it to release,” said Bo Wang, Ph.D. and Co-founder of ZeoVation. “Think of that hospital wall that was just painted with paint that has our anti-microbials in it. When that wall is sitting there, and no one is touching it, the anti-microbials don’t have to be released.”
“But, when the wall is touched by dirty hands or germy equipment, the anti-microbial molecules are released, and the nanozeolite structures in the paint capture the germs.”
ZeoVation Achieves Scientific and Industry Recognition
ZeoVation’s core technology was developed at The Ohio State University (OSU). The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the company with a Small Business Innovation Research grant to conduct research and development on an anti-microbial agent to combat the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which infect at least 2 million people annually.
In May, ZeoVation was accepted into the 2019 MassChallenge Boston program. Rigorously selected by a community of close to 200 expert judges, this year’s competitive cohort presents the top 9 percent of applications from around the world.
ZeoVation is in the process of completing rigorous testing for EPA approval in public use. The company is in the FDA approval process as required for medical applications.
“We are making materials in-house, and we have a partner who has reproduced the process. The next steps are to continue to scale up,” Dr. Wang said.
“We think we have created a product that we think can make any product bacteria-free. Based on our technology platform, we can do it in a safe, cost-effective, easy-to-make-and-use way,” said Jones.
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