ew technology that uses cupric oxide to fight microbial infection and promote healing now
is available from Cupron Inc., Greensboro, N.C., for a broad range of textile applications
including health care and food handling. The company reports Cupron® is effective against a broad
spectrum of microbes, deactivating viruses such as SARS, HIV, avian flu and West Nile; and
eliminating fungi, yeasts, dust mites and bacteria.
“It is our intention to put Cupron into bedding, drapes, uniforms, masks, bandages — every
textile used in the hospital environment,” said O. Lee Gordon Jr., president, North and South
America. “We are positioning the brand with that kind of image so that it trickles down to other
products, and we are establishing exclusive licensing relationships in each sector — gloves, socks,
underwear and so forth — to offer this technology.”
Cupron is incorporated into the polymer melt of polyester, nylon and polypropylene; and
plated onto cellulosic fibers such as cotton and Tencel®, according to Jeffrey Gabbay, CEO. Unlike
silver, it does not oxidize, and the protection is permanent, he said, noting it has been tested
through 50 industrial launderings.
Polygenex International Inc. knits cut-resistant gloves containing Cupron® for use in the
meat, fish and poultry processing industry.
The technology interrupts a microbe’s
ability to duplicate or reproduce, causing it to die naturally and preventing creation of resistant
strains. It also promotes healing of sores and wounds because it binds amino acids and helps create
“There are no toxicity issues because the body metabolizes copper very well, but it does not
metabolize silver,” Gabbay said.
Not only does the technology pose no threat to human health, but the company recycles 100
percent of its process water and chemicals. Cupron’s product claims are now being evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Cupron and Polygenex International Inc., Cary, N.C., a manufacturer of specialty gloves,
have partnered to develop the first gloves utilizing the technology, including cut-resistant
knitted gloves used in the meat, fish and poultry processing industry. Other gloves and liners will
be worn by livestock and produce handlers, and for health care and cosmetic purposes. The
technology also can be applied to latex and nitrile gloves.
Polygenex previously manufactured bacteriostatic gloves using silver-based technology. “The
Cupron technology is far superior and solves problems for some very pressing issues, such as avian
flu,” said Joseph D. McGarry, president and CEO, Polygenex, adding that gloves containing Cupron “
feel so good.”
Cupron also has licensed the technology to a major sock manufacturer for antifungal socks
that Gabbay said will cure athlete’s foot.
Gabbay is enthusiastic about Cupron’s potential. “We can take textiles and change people’s
lives,” he said. “By eliminating microbes at the source, we will reduce greatly the incidence of