Silver to gold
Adding silver to fabrics kills bacteria and boosts sales.
By Maggie Overfelt, FSB writer-reporter

(FSB Magazine) -- Last year Noble Biomaterials, based in Scranton, Pa., ramped up its efforts to sell its silver-laced antibacterial fiber to medical-supply outfits. The move helped double revenues - to nearly $55 million in 2005.

Sweat equity

Since 1997, Noble has sold its fiber - which attacks the ammonia that causes body odor - to apparel manufacturers, which use it to make socks for the U.S. military and shirts for pro athletes. The fiber also kills bacteria that cause diseases, and in April Noble received FDA approval for five new wound-care products. "Silver's benefits align very well with the medical issues of today," says CEO Jeff Keane, 48. "There's a whole bacteria-management area emerging in the health-care community."

Strong medicine
big_silvergold.03.jpg
Noble Biomaterials CEO Jeff Keane

Today the company has found a niche in the $4-billion-a-year wound-care market working with Johnson & Johnson (Charts) and medical technology company Kinetic Concepts (Charts) to weave silver-based bandages. Next year it plans to boost medical-supply sales to more than $25 million when it develops a line of fabric for antimicrobial bed sheets, pajamas, and surgical masks.

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A high-tech bandage made of shrimp

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.