We are a leading organisations in the field of microbiology, with a focus on antimicrobial agents and biofilms. Our expertise reaches across traditional boundaries – we are as likely to be working with, and alongside, academics as we are to be collaborating with a business to develop a new product. You will find us supporting a range of industrial and healthcare sectors. In short, it is the high quality of our work that sticks to rigid parameters, not the work we do or the people who use our services.
Scientific and biofilm testing is a major part of our business, always tailored to meet customers’ specific needs and advance understanding. We can prove adherence to standards and help to push forward the development of significant new technologies. We are known for our proficiency with:
- Medical Devices – Wound care, skincare, catheters, implantables
- Healthcare – including hospital acquired infections (HCAIs)
- Veterinary Medicine
- Cosmetics and Consumer Wellness
- Water and Engineering
As well as in-house microbiology, cellular and biofilm test laboratories, close links with academia and with clinical providers allow us to utilise a breadth of outstanding facilities and equipment. Our position enables us to access a vast range of microorganisms to ensure testing is always appropriate. Just as our testing takes many forms, our team has a range of specialisms including:
- Biofilms – biofilm models or assays
- Antimicrobials – designing, development, evaluation and delivery
- Biologics – cellular and biochemical
- Clinical engineering
- Materials – biomaterials, biotic and abiotic.
The 5D Benefit
Our experience is at your disposal. Although there are many standard tests available, we will always ensure that the service we provide is the one most suited to your needs. Our aim is to always deliver accurate, reliable results in the most cost-effective way possible.
Our team are scientists and consultants. We have a sound understanding of both business and the rigorous requirements of scientific research. By getting the testing right at the outset, you can save time and, of course, money. If you have products in development, our expertise can help bring them more rapidly to market. If you are working in academic research, you can make faster progress towards validated conclusions.
5D is working with…all sorts of people, businesses and organisations around the world. We are used by corporations for both routine testing and to support new projects. We work with investors, the NHS and with international public-health bodies. A few examples include:
We often form a bridge between academics and industry. Pure research may develop a new technology, but no one knows its potential. That’s where we come in, working with PhD students or professors to explore the possibilities. Is there a commercial use? Is it viable? What would it take to move the technology from a concept to a practical proposition? Our R&D, testing and consultancy services help to move ideas from the research paper to the finished product.
In addition to routine testing, we’re frequently asked to support companies with new tests when they’re implementing new technology or equipment. Recently we’ve been collaborating with a client, undertaking research with their products to help achieve improved marketing claims. It is often a two-way process – a partnership that drives discovery and innovation, using our knowhow and some corporate muscle. Many businesses have a great product that works, but they don’t know why. Our job, then, is to explain the science that underpins the product’s efficacy.
Before investing in the development of a new product – or a start-up aiming to bring one to market – investors often turn to 5D for assistance, particularly in the fields of life science and medical device development. Using our testing and scientific skills at an early stage becomes a key part of an investor’s due diligence process and assists in the move towards fully licensed technologies. Then there’s the enquiry that goes ‘Can you do this test for us?’ More often than not, the answer is yes.
Some testing providers only perform a limited range of services or are restricted in the facilities or microorganisms they can use. For a specialist job, you need a specialist supplier – one that delivers cutting-edge scientific testing, efficiently and without any compromise. That supplier is 5D.
Our testing services
Biofilms are associated with over 65% of hospital acquired infections and 80% of all known human diseases. However, it is only relatively recently that we have established that microorganisms within biofilms are phenotypically different from their free-floating (planktonic) counterparts.
The industrial standard for evaluating the ecacy of antimicrobials has concentrated on microorganisms growing within the planktonic state, but within a biofilm, microorganisms have an increased tolerance to biocides, antiseptics and antibiotics. Investigating antimicrobial performance on planktonic microorganisms will not provide an adequate understanding of the performance in a ‘real life’ situation.
5D is a world-leading expert in the science, testing and management of biofilms, with vast experience in biofilm models and data. We design and develop bespoke models to suit our customers’ technology. Examples of biofilm models we have employed include:
- Microtiter plate assay
- Minimum biofilm elimination assays (ASTM method E2799)
- Drip flow slide biofilm reactor (ASTM method E2647)
- Constant depth film fermenter (CDFF) model
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Biofilm Reactor (ASTM method E2562)
- Flow cells
- Static and continuous flowing systems
- Wound biofilm models
- Biofilm inhibition assays
- Nail models
- Bespoke biofilm models specific to the industrial applications
Different models can be adapted to the materials and medical devices, and to suit the microbes being evaluated e.g. anaerobes, amoeba, parasites, fungi or yeasts.
Antimicrobial and disinfectant testing
We provide testing services for antimicrobial formulations and evaluate antimicrobial surfaces for their Microbiostatic and microbicidal activity.
We also offer a full range of tests to determine the spectrum of activity and efficacy of disinfectants – including antibacterial and antifungal agents.
Examples of antimicrobial testing include:
- Zone of Inhibition (ZOI)
- Log reduction assays
- Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
- Antimicrobial synergy and checkerboard studies
- Challenge studies
- Sustainability studies
- Biofilm forming potential assay (BFP)
- Anti-biofilm ability
- Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) determination
- Minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) determination
- Minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) determination
- Antimicrobial hard surface testing and evaluation
- Antimicrobial fogging studies
- Corrected zone of inhibition (CZOI) for antimicrobial impregnated textile materials
- Residual activity assays
In addition to bespoke test methods, we also offer a wide range of British, European and International Standards (BS EN ISO) and ASTM tests including:
- BS EN 1040: Basic bactericidal activity of chemical disinfectants
- BS EN 1276: Quantitative suspension test for the evaluation of bactericidal activity of chemical disinfectants and antiseptics used in food, industrial, domestic and institutional areas
- BS EN 1499: Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics. Hygienic hand wash. Test method and requirements
- BS EN 1500: Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics. Hygienic hand rub. Test method and requirements
- BS EN 1650: Quantitative suspension test for evaluation of fungicidal activity of chemical disinfectants and antiseptics used in food, industrial, domestic and institutional areas.
- BS EN 1656: Quantitative suspension test for the evaluation of bactericidal activity of chemical disinfectants and antiseptics used in the veterinary area
- BS EN 1657: Quantitative suspension test for the evaluation of fungicidal or yeasticidal activity of chemical disinfectants and antiseptics used in the veterinary area
- BS EN 13624: Quantitative suspension test for the evaluation of fungicidal or yeasticidal activity in the medical area
- BS EN 13697: Quantitative non-porous surface test for the evaluation of bactericidal and/or fungicidal activity of chemical disinfectants used in food, industrial, domestic and institutional areas
- BS EN 13704: Quantitative suspension test for the evaluation of sporicidal activity of chemical disinfectants used in food, industrial, domestic and institutional areas
- BS EN 13727: Quantitative suspension test for the evaluation of bactericidal activity of chemical disinfectants for instruments used in the medical area
- BS EN 14476: Virucidal quantitative suspension test for chemical disinfectants and antiseptics used in human medicine
- BS EN 14561: Quantitative carrier test for the evaluation of bactericidal activity for instruments used in the medical area
- BS EN 14675: Quantitative suspension test for the evaluation of virucidal activity of chemical disinfectants and antiseptics used in the veterinary area
- ASTM E2197-11: Standard quantitative disk carrier test method for determining the bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, mycobactericidal and sporicidal activities of liquid chemical germicides
- ASTM E2414-05: Standard test method for quantitative sporicidal three-step method to determine sporicidal efficacy of liquids, liquid sprays, and vapour or gases on contaminated carrier surfaces.
Medical device testing
We can evaluate all aspects of a device’s physical and chemical performance. Clients have used 5D for zone of Inhibition testing, antibiofilm activity, peel adhesion testing and to establish moisture vapour transfer rates.
Corrosion and water testing
Our expertise includes biofouling and the microbial-influenced corrosion of materials – a common cause of failure in engineered systems. Testing is used by manufacturers of medical devices, for the protection of drinking water pipes, in the food and beverage industry, in the oil and gas sector and for shipping and structures in the marine environment.
We are constantly finding new scenarios, products and ideas that need the benefit of 5D’s expertise and testing facilities. Recent examples include both bacterial and viral barrier testing, and in vitro tissue compatibility testing for cytotoxicity and haemolysis/haemostasis.
All our testing services are customer specific. If you are looking for support, call or drop us a line.