"Resistant bacteria are causing patients to contract infections in hospitals around the world, despite careful hygiene measures. Being difficult to cure, these infections cause immense costs, as well as a great deal of human suffering," explained Edgar Eichholz, Launch Manager Medical Device Materials. BASF cooperates with its customers to find solutions for medical device and equipment surfaces that durably prevent potentially hazardous microbial build-up. "Products featuring our additives support the measures of professional hospital hygiene," Eichholz said and added: "This minimises the risk of medical devices contributing to the acquisition of infections."Medical devices such as urinary and vascular access catheters made with Hygentic products provide an improved safety for patients and health personnel, says BASF. The customised material solutions are mainly based on silver ions. For centuries silver is valued and used due to its antimicrobial effect."Our broad range of products and our expert know-how enable us to offer customised formulations that meet specific customer needs," Eichholz reported. "Our developers work together closely with customers in this process." In fact, BASF's medical devices team has technical capabilities to produce customized formulations and incorporate them into a variety of materials, such as thermoplastics or silicones, at its technical centre at Tarrytown, New York."For manufacturers of medical devices and equipment we combine silver ions contained in a variety of substrates, e. g. glass, from the Hygentic portfolio selectively to meet the requirements of a given application. In the process, synergy effects enhance the efficiency of the individual components," Eichholz explained. In the formulations obtained in this way, the silver ions will act longer, for example, or faster.A dedicated microbiology team checks the various formulations obtained for antimicrobial effectiveness against relevant microorganisms, including mulitresistant pathogens like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).BASF is also researching new generations of materials with novel surface effects that are of interest for medical devices and equipment, and offers cooperation opportunities for medical device manufacturers. The business segment Medical Device Materials is part of BASF Future Business GmbH since 2009 when BASF acquired Ciba.