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Biocide squirting from an elastomeric tri-layer film

Philippe Sonntag, Pierre Hoerner, André Chemoyl, Gilles Argy, Gérard Riess, Günter Reiter. Nature Materials 3, 311-315 (2004)


Protective layers typically act in a passive way by simply separating two sides. Protection is only efficient as long as the layers are intact. If a high level of protection has to be achieved by thin layers, complementary measures need to be in place to ensure safety, even after breakage of the layer-an important issue in medical applications(1-9). Here, we present a novel approach for integrating a biocide liquid into a protective film (about 300-500 mum thick), which guarantees that a sufficient amount of biocide is rapidly released when the film is punctured. The film is composed of a middle layer, containing the liquid in droplet-like compartments, sandwiched between two elastomeric boundary layers. When the film is punctured, the liquid squirts out of the middle layer. A theoretical model was used to determine the size and density of droplets that are necessary to ensure a sufficient quantity of biocide is expelled from an adequately elastic matrix to provide protection at the site of damage. We demonstrate the utility of this approach for the fabrication of surgical gloves.

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