This September, Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of casting and release papers, announced an exclusive agreement with Sharklet Technologies to begin manufacturing a casting and release paper that utilizes the Sharklet™ micropattern. The product will be called Neoterix™ ST, the first product in Sappi’s new functional Neoterix casting and release paper line.

Neoterix ST carries a variety of applications for manufacturers working with surfaces in high-touch industries, such as health care and hospitality, among many more. The micropattern, first developed by Sharklet Technologies, is groundbreaking biomimicry in action. Inspired by actual shark skin, the pattern inhibits the growth of bacteria and other natural organisms on surfaces without the use of chemicals.

Like all of Sappi’s casting and release papers, Neoterix ST acts as a mold for coated fabric and laminates. It is used to transfer texture and gloss onto these surfaces and is then stripped away. As part of the research and development for this new product line, Sappi has also created new technology to impart the Sharklet microtexture at micron-level fidelity.

While tabletops and counters are likely where this pattern will have the most use initially, it can be applied to virtually any surface that uses a casting or release paper to create its texture and gloss.

“Neoterix ST has the potential to make a significant impact on the risk of bacteria transfer in health care institutions, restaurants, hotels, offices and just about anywhere we can touch,” said Tom Collins, vice president and general manager, Specialties Business at Sappi North America. “This product will change the way we manage the surfaces in our daily lives.”

In a medical environment, Neoterix ST could be used on exam and operating tables, waiting room surfaces, walls, door handles and more. From a broader perspective, Neoterix ST can help keep consumers healthy when applied to ATM keypads, office spaces and restaurants.

What’s more, Neoterix ST also solves a longstanding issue of using chemicals to kill bacteria and organisms on surfaces. The recent FDA ban on marketing products with antiseptic ingredients as anti-microbial creates the perfect window for products like these to disrupt the industry.

The applications are promising, but how do we know it will work?

According to Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, the microtexture has been proven to reduce surface contamination of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) by as much as 97 percent and 94 percent, respectively, when compared to controls. Those figures are hard to ignore.

Sappi is currently accepting customers and beta users. For more information, please email neoterix@sappi.com.

 

Magnification of the Neoterix Micropattern

Magnification of actual sharkskin

Neoterix™ ST, the first product in Sappi’s new functional Neoterix casting and release paper line