Home Uncategorized An Overview of PHMB (Polyhexamehtylenebiguanide Hydrochloride)

An Overview of PHMB (Polyhexamehtylenebiguanide Hydrochloride)

by Kristine

PHMB antimicrobial has been utilized for more than six decades as an antimicrobial by specialists, in pool sanitization, as a storage solution for contact lenses, in the food industry, in surgical procedures, and in wound care. Mouth wash manufacturers also use it as one of the raw materials. While this is a popular chemical, most people know little about it. For this reason, this post provides you with an overview of PHMB.

What is PHMB?

PHMB is a microorganism-killing polymer clinically demonstrated to restrain bacterial growth and offer extra security when utilized with other contamination control conventions. PHMB functions by attacking microbes on and inside the wound dressings. By doing so, the microbial help keeps microorganisms out of the injury. Additionally, it restricts cross-infection or contamination. Therefore, it advances the healing process by creating a safe environment. There is enough scientific evidence to prove that PHMB can limit bacterial penetration in wound dressings.

Applications of PHMB

Besides wound dressings, PHMB is utilized in multiple clinical applications. For instance, it is commonly applied in wound irrigation, eye surgery, and skin prep for surgical procedures. While it is already quite efficient, its applications could use some optimization. For instance, its utilization as a skin prep could be upgraded by utilizing a nanoparticle emulsion. So, while PHMB is effective, its solution only reaches the outer skin layer. Therefore, optimizing it with nanoparticles will help it penetrate the hair follicles.

It is also worth mentioning that this antimicrobial is excellent at attacking bacteria in various settings besides wounds. For this reason, it is commonly used in contact lens solutions where it attacks the bacteria in the lenses and the ones likely to colonize it. In simpler terms, the antimicrobial eliminates bacterial growth and existence within the contact lens solution. Its effectiveness in fighting bacteria is also the primary reason it is used in mouthwash. It helps increase the mouthwash’s effectiveness against common bacteria found in the mouth. Additionally, it remains present in the mouth for a while, so it can prevent the bacteria from growing.

Another application of PHMB is in the food industry. The antimicrobial is applied in food packing and storage products, fighting against bacterial colonization of foodstuffs. However, its applications in the food sector are still limited as some people still worry about its safety. This antimicrobial is classified as a category two carcinogenic and reproductive toxin. Therefore, the food sector is warry about its applications.

Renewed interest in PHMB applications

This chemical has been used in wound dressing for decades. However, its application has skyrocketed recently because of the current FDA clearance of the first collagen medium wound bandage with PHMB. This approval by the FDA has triggered renewed interest in this antimicrobial. Therefore, research is underway to discover ways to incorporate it into other sectors.


It is worth mentioning that PHMB is effective in fighting yeast and fungi apart from common bacteria. For this reason, it has the potential to function beyond the medical sector. Hopefully, with further research, this antimicrobial will have more applications in the future.

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