Hypochlorous Acid: From Battlefield Trenches to Modern Medicine
Explore the incredible history and potential of hypochlorous acid in health care. From its origins as a crude battlefield wound treatment in World War I to its current status as a versatile tool in modern medicine, discover the benefits of HOCl in fighting infection and promoting healing and how modern advancements in technology have made it possible to produce pure and stable HOCl in large quantities. From historical origins to a future full of potential, learn about this exciting substance and how it is changing the world of health care for good.
Humble Origins & Modern Discoveries
Solutions of chlorine in water have a long history of use in medicine, not only as effective surface disinfectants but also as antiseptics, starting with emergency battlefield wound treatment in World War I³ These original formulations, made deep in the trenches of war with crude formulations of chlorine bleach often saved lives and gave rise to the use of acidified hypochlorite for control of wound infections and support for wound healing³.
Recent research has shown that one of the forms of aqueous chlorine, hypochlorous acid (HOCl), is actually produced by white blood cells in vivo, and plays a vital role in natural defense against infection, as well as triggering a cascade of changes that are hallmarks of healing and tissue repair. HOCl is an effective, powerhouse oxidant that can eliminate a diverse range of microorganisms, including but not limited to bacterias, viruses, and fungi¹.
Manufacturing Technology Advancements
Despite the historical origins and promising scientific discoveries on hypochlorous acid, it has taken a long time for existing technology to effectively achieve pure hypochlorous acid solutions that can expertly deliver all of these proven scientific benefits. This is partially due to the instability of manufactured HOCl solutions that are created through a mixture of existing chlorine types.
Other available formulations effectively produced quality product but could not ensure stability or longevity in their solutions. To bring HOCl to the masses, manufacturers needed to upgrade production capacity on an unprecedented scale—a feat only a few have been able to achieve so far. Recent developments have overcome these historical obstacles, allowing for the production of reliably pure and stable forms of HOCl in large quantities. BIHOCL is among these few successful efforts.
Why We Need HOCl Now More Than Ever
There is a fortunate timeliness to these developments; not only because of our recent global viral pandemic that has stretched conventional disinfection and infection control practices beyond limits of confidence, but also because of the clinical challenges in the field of wound care, including chronic wounds and diabetic foot ulcers.
Wound care experts are in need of innovative treatment strategies presented with the current challenge of changing demographics of populations and diseases, but also multi-drug antibiotic resistance which ensures more patients are prone to challenging wound complications. As clinical publishings have suggested, HOCl has a vital role in modern wound care², though it is not nearly as recognized as traditional antiseptics, it is a solution that offers all of the potent antimicrobial properties of traditional antiseptics, with additional benefits, such being non-cytotoxic and hydrating to wound bed environments.
The use of HOCl in World War I and II has demonstrated its potential as a powerful and safe treatment for various medical conditions, and now it's being used to improve ocular health and hygiene. With the rise of dry eye and blepharitis, the need for innovative treatment strategies is more important than ever, and HOCl is proving to be a valuable solution in this field.
HOCl has been gaining steady attention in the eye care space as a hyper-safe (yet, hyper-effective) solution for the management of dry eye and blepharitis symptoms. The reason for its growing popularity is the combination of its effectiveness in treating these conditions while maintaining a safety profile similar to that of standard saline.
The potent antimicrobial properties of HOCl make it an ideal solution for killing bacteria and viruses that can cause these often debilitating conditions. and its non-cytotoxic nature makes it a safe alternative to traditional eye care products, particularly for those with sensitive eyes or who are prone to eye infections.
BIHOCL Hypochlorous Solutions
BIHOCL products are manufactured via a sophisticated engineering process, however, our formulation is very simple with just three ingredients:
- Medical-grade salt
Professional Formulations Made for Medicine
The active percentage of sodium chloride (NaCl) present in our formulation is approximately 0.9%, meaning our solution is formulated to mimic the body’s natural fluids. Whether cleansing a wound or completing a dry eye treatment protocol, this salinity means that you are treating with an expert formulation that works with the body, as opposed to standard alternatives that can be disruptive and cytotoxic to healthy cells and tissues.
Beyond our expert formulation, we are committed to ensuring the most efficacious pH-balance in our products. The quality and pH of an HOCl product is dependent on a number of things, including how it is manufactured. Some formulas are made by adjusting the pH-level of sodium hypochlorite (bleach), while other formulations are generated by sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC or SDIC) tablets, which are then added to a water source. In contrast to these often crude formulas, BIHOCL products contain pure HOCI. An average of 70 batches analyzed show an average pH of 4.4.⁴
Quality and Quantity
The takeaway? BIHOCL is an authentic, reliable, pure-form HOCI product at a skin-neutral pH that is manufactured at scale.
How is this possible? We are committed to quality first. Our HOCl is manufactured in a state-of-the-art Health Canada licensed, EPA & FDA-registered, cGMP-compliant facility in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. BIHOCL is also a Class 2 medical device licensed solution with ISO 13485 certification for applications across the healthcare spectrum.
To learn more about BIHOCL formulations, and which of our products are best for your practice, contact us or visit our product pages.
- Janssen, D. B., & Spaan, S. (2018). Hypochlorous acid: a versatile oxidant in innate immunity. Journal of Innate Immunity, 10(4), 255-268.
- Webster, J. G., & Leach, D. H. (2019). Hypochlorous acid: an underutilized weapon in the fight against wound infection. Journal of Wound Care, 28(4), S4-S8.
- Keyes, M., & Thibodeau, R. (2018). Dakin solution (sodium hypochlorite).
- Data on file (2017). Sterasure Inc.