Informations about PHMB Technology




From the consumer product to the antiseptic agent

Polyhexanide (PHMB) was synthesized in the fifties in the search for new malaria drugs for the first time and characterized. It quickly became apparent that polyhexanide was not very effective against malaria, but had a very good antimicrobial activity against a broad spectrum of germs. It is used in various concentrations as a disinfectant in industrial processes and as a preservative in cosmetic products successfully.

Selection applications of PHMB

  • Disinfection of swimming pool and bathing water 
  • Preservatives in cosmetics 
  • Preservation of leather and skins 
  • Disinfecting solutions for contact lenses 
  • Disinfection of equipment & storage containers in the food sector
  • Disinfection of hatching eggs (protection against Salmonella infections)
  • antimicrobial coating of textiles 
  • Disinfection of industrial fluids such as drilling oils, polymer dispersions, mineral slurries, polymer resins, protein glues 

Polyhexanide received by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September 2005, the repeated registration for use in different areas.The increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance in human pathogenic bacteria intensified the search for effective and sustainable local antiseptics, and polyhexanide proved to be excellent suitable substance. The therapeutic margin or the risk-benefit ratio of polyhexanide is significantly better in comparison with other antiseptics.

The Swiss surgeon Prof. Willenegger eventually led polyhexanide end of the eighties in human medicine. He used it very successfully for local antiseptic treatment in surgery. In 2001, with Prontosan® W is the first ready-medical device with polyhexanide for cleaning wounds on the market. Since polyhexanide promotes wound healing in many ways, the use of polyhexanidhaltigen wound products (sprays, solutions, gels, foams, and dressings) rises steadily since then. It has been found that the cleaning of wounds with products based on the polyhexanide betaine complex reduces bacterial load and the rate of infection. Polyhexanide additionally influenced the course of healing of burn wounds positive.

Animal experiments showed a significantly improved healing process could be detected in aseptic wounds, which may be explained by an inhibition of collagen degradation. In a clinical study of burn wounds of degree IIa an analgesic effect of polyhexanidhaltigen wound dressings has been demonstrated.

The importance of polyhexanide in the wound antisepsis is undisputed today. The antimicrobial treatment with polyhexanide products is recommended by leading experts since 2004 to this day as the first choice.