NBIC and REACT whitepaper explores the future of commercial cleaning technology

We’re pleased to announce the release of our new whitepaper entitled ‘Biofilms & barrier technologies: The future of commercial cleaning,’ a collaboration between NBIC and specialist cleaning service provider, REACT Specialist Cleaning. The report examines the risks posed by biofilms and the potential of new ‘barrier technologies’ to mitigate them.

Given their biocidal resilience, biofilms are difficult to remove using conventional cleaning products. Most of these products – even many that claim to ‘kill 99.9% of germs’ – will leave harmful bacteria behind after application because they cannot penetrate the protective film that the microorganisms form.

The report describes how ‘barrier technologies’ (or simply ‘barrier tech’) can prevent the formation of biofilms. They do this by making appropriate surfaces antimicrobial themselves. There are two main types:

  • Those that apply a coating containing microbial materials, such as biocides, copper or silver, to an existing surface
  • Those that create a new surface with a structural make-up that ruptures or repels microbial cells

Shaun Doak, CEO of REACT Specialist Cleaning, said,

“The pandemic has encouraged organisations to rethink how they use cleaning services. It is now well known that hygiene and cleanliness have a significant impact on employee health and, as a result, productivity. People need reassurances that the spaces they live and work in are safe. But to demonstrate the power of cleaning, cleaning providers need to do more than just make their cleaning teams visible.”

The report provides three examples of real barrier-tech products that cleaning operatives can use in public spaces. It also provides professional advice related to buying effective products and using them correctly.

William Green, Innovation and Partnership Manager at NBIC, said,

“The impact of biofilms on health and wellbeing, both at home and in the workplace, is significant, with effects of the Covid 19 pandemic still being felt. Combined with the looming threat of antimicrobial resistance, it has never been more important to develop new technologies to combat this growing threat.


“NBIC is bringing together companies like REACT, as well as academics, manufacturers and regulators to fast track the development of new effective treatments to prevent and remove biofilms.”

Download ‘Biofilms & barrier technologies: The future of commercial cleaning’ here. 

Front cover image: Hydrophobicity of B. subtilis is shown by the addition of coloured water drops onto the biofilm. Image by Maria Paula Huertas Caycedo.