“The Frontiers initiative aims to make the Basque Country a benchmark in the field of antimicrobial surfaces”
COVID-19 has reinforced the need to ensure best practices to prevent the spread of micro-organisms, including transmission through contaminated surfaces
The increasing development of pathogen resistance to commonly used antibiotics is one reason why research on surfaces with the ability to destroy or inhibit the adherence of bacteria and viruses has gained renewed interest.
Frontiers 2021, a collaborative project between R&D agents in the Basque Country from different disciplines, delves into and advances in the development of strategic research in the field of surface treatments applied to the field of biosciences and health. The initiative aims to make the Basque Country a benchmark in the field of antimicrobial surfaces.
To overcome the current constraints, the project encompasses the following strategies and challenges:
- Modelling bacterial adhesion and proliferation of surfaces by developing a device capable of measuring the adhesion strength between micro-organisms and substrates, and the ability to understand the mechanisms of interaction of bacteria with surfaces.
- Development and characterisation of safe and sustainable antibacterial and antiviral surfaces for microbial control on surfaces.
- Study of the effectiveness, toxicity and durability of surfaces.
TECNALIA has developed new innocuous and sustainable solutions for microbial control on surfaces
These developments include:
- New low VOC water-based coatings with antimicrobial efficacy, including non-toxic bio-based biocides authorised in accordance with the European Biocidal Products Regulation 528/2012 and CLP Regulation (EC No 1272/2008). The bacteria against which the coatings have been tested are E. coli and S. aureus with positive results (R>2 in both cases). An auxiliary agent has also been incorporated as a synergistic agent, which enables the amount of biocide in the coating to be reduced while maintaining antibacterial efficacy. The coatings can be applied on wood, glass or plastic surfaces.
- Thin film coatings combining surface topographical structure and the incorporation of biocidal doping agents, using environmentally resistant HiPIMS technology, with extended durability of biocidal activity over the operational life of the components.
- Ceramic and hybrid coatings applied by SolGel technology, which are thin and transparent with permanent biocidal/virucidal and non-toxic properties in service conditions
- Polymeric nanofibres compatible with antiviral and antibacterial coating systems, e.g. filtration systems.
- Methodologies for assessing the virucidal activity of surfaces and materials according to internationally recognised standards.
Basque agents participating in the project
TECNALIA collaborates with the main R&D entities in the Basque Country to address the challenges of the future of Basque companies, contributing to increasing their competitiveness.
FRONTIERS 2021 has been co-funded by the Basque Government through the Elkartek Programme under No. KK-2021/00124.