ECBC Explores Use of Gels for Biological Decontamination

Home / Articles / External / Government


August 8, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: August 8 on

Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Explores Use of Gels for Biological Decontamination ECBC researchers, working with CBI Polymer, explored how a HydroGel can be modified to decontaminate surfaces contaminated with biological agents such as spores of Bacillus anthracis, which are capable of causing anthrax disease in humans and animals.HydroGel is a biosynthetic polymer that can be sprayed, painted or poured on a surface. It then dries into a film, which can be peeled away and disposed of with little to no threat to the environment or the operators. The peeled gel does not generate any water waste and traps any toxic contaminant, such as biological spores, which removes the threat of the agent reaerosolizing. Conventional decontamination methods involve spraying soapy water and liquid sporicidal agents, which generates a high volume of wastewater that could flow into drains and be added to the environment or be otherwise difficult to safely collect and dispose of.One iteration of the hydrogel, dubbed DeconGel has been tested for killing and removing biological spores on various surfaces such as steel, aluminum, concrete and tile.Another version has been used to collect live spores for forensic analysis.