New Coatings for Plastics will Prevent Transmission of Hospital-acquired Infections

The MOBACT project is developing bio-based solutions as an environmentally sustainable alternative to metal in order to fight the current major public health problem of hospital-acquired infection.

Not only COVID-19 pandemic, but also other public health problems continue to be of high concern for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), such as hospital-acquired infection caused by microorganisms and transmitted through contact surfaces. Depending on their nature and environmental conditions, these surfaces can host microorganism colonies for several months, even after what might appear to be proper cleaning.
In order to solve this problem, a consortium made up of AIMPLAS - Plastics Technology Centre in Paterna (Valencia, Spain), the Institute of Materials Technology of the Universitat Politècnica de València, the companies Lamberti and Industrias Tayg, and the La Fe Hospital Health Research Institute are developing the MOBACT Project with funding from the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI). The goal is to develop a technology capable of curtailing colonization of microorganisms on healthcare surfaces near patients as a means of reducing up to one-third of the burden of these diseases, which represent a health risk that calls for considerable public spending.
The project aim is to prevent the accumulation and proliferation of microorganisms thanks to the development of new materials based on active substances with bacteriostatic or bactericidal capacity to add in furniture surface coatings or in injected parts mass-produced. Another goal is to ensure that the materials are environmentally sustainable: the project team is working with compounds of renewable origin as alternatives to metal compounds, traditionally used because of their resistance to the high temperatures of different transforming processes.
The new bio-based compounds will be encapsulated in polymer matrices, so they can be used as water-based coatings. Research findings will be validated in a real hospital environment to check their functionality and compliance with current legislation.
This project is in line with the United Nations' Strategic Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 3 on good health and well-being, SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, and SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production.
22 January 2021
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