Keeping us all safe from unwanted bacteria with antimicrobial HMI’s and Membranes

 In Blog, Case Studies, Complex Interface Assemblies, Design to manufacture, Healthcare, iFlex™ Flexible Circuits, Membranes, Rubber Keymats, Safety

Now, more than at any other time, our senses are heightened as to how we keep ourselves and our family safe from unwanted bacteria and viruses. Lately, we are assaulted with statistics that show how much bacteria lives on our daily used tech. Mobile phones, keyboards and daily household appliances are shown to be dirtier than a toilet seat! Research suggests that on average your keyboard is 20,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat, your mobile phone is up to 9000 times dirtier, and ID badges were found to be hundreds of times more germ-filled than a used dog toy!

This evaluation was carried out by CBT Nuggets. In completing swab tests on common office and household items, laboratory testing exposed the average colony-forming units per square inch and benchmarked them against our predisposed ideas of what is dirty and what is not. When we evaluate these figures it is no wonder they are somewhat of a surprise!

Cross-contamination of pathogens

The Journal of Intensive Care publicised a report on the bacterial contamination of inanimate surfaces and equipment in Intensive Care Units. ICU acquired infections are a challenging health problem worldwide, especially when caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens. In ICUs, inanimate surfaces and equipment, such as bed rails, stethoscopes, medical charts, ultrasound machines and ventilator surfaces, may be contaminated by bacteria, including MDR isolates. Cross-transmission of microorganisms from inanimate surfaces may have a significant role for ICU-acquired colonisation and infections.

It’s not a giant leap to suggest that this cross-contamination of pathogens is evident all around us. With the ever-increasing usage of HMI (human-machine interfaces) in every aspect of our work and home life, the ability for these surfaces to be the bacterial pool for contamination is all too easy.

What can we do about this?

At In2tec we have been innovating in HMI products for over 30 years. The inclusion of antimicrobial agents such as MicroBan within the materials and substrates we use in designing our interface solutions provides a non-depletive, dependable means of fighting the scourge of MDR’s and other pathogens.

The technology is incorporated within the material during the manufacturing process, ensuring even distribution of the antimicrobial agent throughout. When bacteria come into contact, the antimicrobial function disrupts the bacterial cell wall, killing or inhibiting bacterial growth.

The result is that the surface provides dependable and constant protection against bacterial contamination and provides one of the fundamental tools in our armoury in protecting ourselves from cross-contamination and the spread of unwanted bacteria.

What does it cost?

Today, In2tec design and manufacture HMI’s and Membranes that both benefit from and require antimicrobial protection for the end-user. The cost difference between standard substrates and those with antimicrobial properties is negligible. What we should be asking is that with the ability to provide additional protection against bacteria for a minimal cost – a price far less than the value of our health – why wouldn’t we?

Antimicrobial materials are available for a plethora of applications, from PET (Polyester) to Plastics, Fabrics and Textiles, to Foam and Metal. In2tec can apply our cutting-edge technology, capabilities and processes to meet your product and interface requirements and accelerate your ideas.

Get in touch

Get in touch with In2tec to discuss how we can help you:

T: + 44 (0)1536 419200 (office hours GMT: 8.30am-5.00pm Mon-Thurs; 8.30am-2.30pm Fri)


For more information about In2tec technologies and capabilities, please visit

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