Corning has unveiled its Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass which contains ionic silver, a substance that has been used to fight germs for over a century.

The company said the protection against germs would last for the lifetime of devices that used it.

Used in smart devices, Gorilla Glass has generated more than $1bn of annual sales for the company.

Apple, Amazon, LG, HTC and Samsung are among the many smart device manufacturers to use Corning's products.

Corning states that its new product inhibits the growth of algae, mould, mildew, fungi, and bacteria, and that it therefore intends to market the material to the healthcare, hospitality and transportation industries.