Imagine stepping into hospital, public bathroom, daycare center or restaurant and knowing that harmful bacteria cannot grow. This possibility is becoming a reality through a collaboration between two companies FLEXcon and Sharklet Technologies. The result is the product, Sharklet, the first no-kill, non-toxic and environmentally-friendly surface designed to inhibit bacterial growth through a chemical-free micro-texture, inspired by the microbe-resistant properties of sharkskin. Replicating sharkskin is an example of the growing use of biomimicry, a design discipline that studies and replicates nature's best ideas.
FLEXcon, a Massachusetts based company and innovator in adhesive coating and laminating, is applying more than 50 years of film expertise to biomimicry, developing this new film application that will serve as a foundation for future Sharklet-patterned products. Each Sharklet micro-feature in the Sharklet pattern must be manufactured to a very specific height, width and depth in order to create a surface that bacteria find inhospitable for growth--only FLEXcon can consistently develop to these unique and rigid specifications.
LGInternational is the first company to sell the bacteria-inhibiting film-based products under the brand Tactivex, which has been deployed into healthcare facilities, research laboratories and other settings where bacterial inhibition is desired. There are unlimited uses cases for the product, and soon more public places will benefit from the use of biomimicry.