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Wickham Laboratories Case Study on the Bioburden of the New £5 Polymer Note

Date of event 25th January 2017

Wickham Laboratories Ltd is pleased to provide the results of our case study on the bioburden of the new polymer £5 note.

In collaboration with European Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (EPM), Wickham Laboratories Ltd recently performed a study examining the bioburden of the new £5 polymer notes.  A British £5 note is exchanged hundreds of times during its lifespan and there are multiple opportunities for the note to become contaminated with bacteria. The move from paper to polymer £5 notes was made due to the latter being seen as safer, stronger and cleaner. Our study on these polymer notes investigated the level of contamination and identified which microorganisms were present on the notes after several weeks of handling in real life conditions. The results of the study show a lower presence of bacteria compared to the paper notes and we isolated similar types of gram positive bacteria from each of the nine £5 notes that were tested. An article referencing this study was published by EPM and its’ sister publication Medical Plastics News on January 18 and is available online.  If you would like to read more about how the study was conducted and see the full results, please visit the Resource Centre on our website.

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