The International Copper Association (ICA) and HEYER Medical AG are pleased to announce the company’s proposal entitled “New applications for copper/copper alloy antimicrobial components in medical devices” has been selected as one of six winning proposals approved for funding from the more than 100 pre-proposals submitted to the ICA worldwide. Heyer also has the distinction of being the only award winner that is not a university.
HEYER Medical’s proposal was subjected to a rigorous screening by copper and technology experts, and it was selected based on a highly feasible research plan and its potential for positive impact on the global use of copper in the medical field. HEYER Medical has extensive experience in medical device development, testing, manufacturing and certification. “Heyer designs and produces critical life-support equipment, where performance and quality must meet or exceed the highest standards to ensure patient safety.” said Klaus Schickhaus, president of HEYER Medical AG. “The replacing of certain components with copper provides further protection from infection-specific indicator organisms that continue to be a challenge in hospital and clinical environments.”
The objective of this program is to measure whether certain components in various medical devices, such as anesthesia and inhalation machines – if replaced with copper and/or copper alloys – would reduce the potential spread of infection. Other medical devices are logical for using the antimicrobial properties of copper and its alloy, such as those used in disaster relief situations where both environmental and aseptic conditions are challenging.
The outcome from this research will provide the ICA with a framework for the continued development of medical devices fabricated with copper. Mr. Kevin Krizman, Assistant Director of Technology, stated that, “our work with HEYER on this project reflects the commitment of the ICA to develop the inherent antimicrobial properties of copper and copper alloys into practical hygienic applications.” The potential benefits of having active an antimicrobial environment that reduces or eliminates infectious pathogens could be enormous in advancing the next generation of medical devices.