How It Works
AIONX® is defining the new class of continuous, self-cleaning technologies. We have developed a platform technology, cleanSURFACES®, for use in healthcare settings that continuously cleans treated surfaces, without any manual assistance from cleaning staff. As the infographic depicts, our platform solution uses silver and copper in a novel and efficient way to actively force the rapid release of antimicrobial metal ions* into any contaminated media that contact the treated surface. Our system dynamically responds to external stimuli to release antimicrobial ions only as needed. Applications of our cleanSURFACES® technology are virtually limitless. The use of AIONX® cleanSURFACES® technology at a use site is a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.
The unique efficacy of the AIONX® cleanSURFACES® technology comes from its patented combination of silver and copper, along with a microampere electrical current to stimulate and an insulator to control the metal’s inherent antimicrobial properties.* Moreover, the silver and copper are deposited onto treated surfaces in a specific geometric pattern designed to optimize cleaning efficacy for each application. In essence, surfaces treated with the AIONX® cleanSURFACES® technology possess anodic and cathodic regions comprising silver and copper. When contaminated media contact treated surfaces, a low energy circuit is completed thereby releasing antimicrobial metal ions, which clean the surface.*
The AIONX® Difference
The AIONX® cleanSURFACES® technology is revolutionary because of its ability to release large quantities of antimicrobial metal ions as needed.* Ions from silver and copper are what give those metals their cleaning capabilities, meaning the effectiveness of any silver/copper technology is dependent on their ability to release metal ions. The AIONX® cleanSURFACES® technology uses a patented system to actively force the release of metal ions as treated surfaces are contacted by contaminated media. The result is rapid, effective self-cleaning precisely where and when needed.
In contrast, all other self-cleaning technologies rely on passive ion-release mechanisms, such as natural metal oxidation (used by solid/alloy metal products) and ion exchange between the environment and treated surfaces (used metal ion-filled zeolites and metal ion-doped coatings). These other methods are slow, provide limited ion release, and result in minimal cleaning efficacy.
Continuous cleaners as a class (including the AIONX® cleanSURFACES® technology, as a leader in that class) are superior to cleaning methods intended to clean surfaces in a given moment. It has been possible to effectively clean surfaces for hundreds of years. Nonetheless, efforts continue to try to develop better episodic—or non-continuous—cleaners. No matter how clean episodic cleaners may make surfaces, recontamination begins immediately after the cleaning ends. The inherent limitation of non-continuous cleaners is most problematic in dirty environments like hospitals. In such places, continuous cleaners—like AIONX®’s cleanSURFACES® technology — are the ideal solution because of their ability to prevent recontamination.
How Silver and Copper Clean
AIONX® has developed a platform technology, cleanSURFACES®, that uses silver and copper to continuously clean treated surfaces, without any manual assistance from cleaning staff. Low concentrations of ions from these heavy metals are highly toxic to microorganisms.* The ions attack and kill microbes in at least three simultaneous ways (see the infographic to the right), making it virtually impossible for microbes to develop a resistance to heavy metals.* In contrast, antibiotics possess a single mode of action making the development of bacterial resistance much more likely.
Historical Uses of Heavy Metals
For more information about the use of silver as an antimicrobial, go to this link: http://www.factsaboutsilver.org/history/
For more information about the use of copper as an antimicrobial, go to this link: https://www.copper.org/publications/newsletters/innovations/2000/06/medicine-chest.html
* The AIONX® cleanSURFACES® technology is registered with the EPA (EPA Reg. No. 91681-1) as an antimicrobial agent that effectively inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungi, algae, mold, and mildew that cause unpleasant odors, discoloration, staining, deterioration or corrosion on surfaces to which it is applied. The EPA has not reviewed or approved, nor does AIONX® make, any claims that its cleanSURFACES® technology has efficacy against any particular pathogenic microbes. The use of AIONX® cleanSURFACES® technology at a use site is a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.