Life Sciences & Biotechnology

Title :

Development of a biodegradable and biocompatible nano ceramics/bioactive glass-polymer composite material with anti-bacterial properties for use in female sanitary hygiene products

Area of research :

Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Material Sciences

Focus area :

Biocompatible nano ceramics composite material

Principal Investigator :

Mousumi Majumder, Principal Scientist, CSIR-Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CSIR-CGCRI), Ahmedabad

Timeline Start Year :


Timeline End Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

Objective: To develop a nanoceramic-bioglass-polymer based composite material and optimise the composition thereof To test the antimicrobial properties of the developed material and check the efficacy of the synthesized material using both UTI and RTI models in animals. To test the biodegradability of the developed composite

Summary: A pilot study conducted in 2011 entitled “Sanitary protection: every woman’s health right” estimated that only 12% of the menstruating population have access to hygienic sanitary products. Most homemade or community level sanitary products do not possess any antimicrobial protection, thereby exposing the users and the scavengers to harmful microbes such as E.coli, Staphylococcus Aureus and Candida Albicans. Moreover, the disposal of the soiled napkins is an environmental challenge for the municipal bodies. The commercially available products use non-biodegradable polymers like polypropylene and polyethylene, which are known to stay in the landfills for hundreds of years. 432 million waste sanitary napkins fill up the landfills in India, annually, which are non-biodegradable in nature and can leach toxins into the soil. The current suggested method of handling such wastes is incineration. However, this is an energy-intensive process and may release harmful emissions into the environment. In this project, a biodegradable, antimicrobial nano-ceramic-bioactive glass (BG)-polymer composite material will be synthesized. Nano ceramic powders-micronanospheres of BG (mnBG) with potent antibacterial properties will be used along with biodegradable polymers such as Polycaprolactone (PCL), etc. to yield a protective membrane for incorporation in sanitary products. Cytotoxicity of the material will be tested for vaginal epithelial cells (PCS-480-010) and human skin fibroblast (GM00637) cells as per standard protocol [Garg, S., et al. (2018). BMC research notes. 11(1), 403]. The antimicrobial effect of the test sample will be evaluated using Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ESKAP), Chlamydia trachomatis and Candida albicans. The objective of this work is to tackle the issue of non-biodegradability of the commercially available sanitary products as well as to provide protection from various microbial infections of the reproductive and urinary tract in women.

Organizations involved