Anti-microbial, self-cleaning copper composite coatings applied in metallic objects against infections transmission
Start date: Dec 1, 2013,
End date: Nov 30, 2015
Infection prevention measures aim to ensure the protection of people who might be vulnerable to acquiring an infection both in the general community and while receiving care due to health problems. The basic principle of infection prevention and control is hygiene. Hygiene could be divided in personal hygiene (e.g. hand washing) and inanimate object disinfection (e.g. use of chemicals for cleaning and sanitizing). However, hygiene practices is not enough to fight against infections. Indeed, the estimated annual cost of medical care for treating infectious diseases in Europe is about €120 billion while HealthCare Acquired Infections are directly responsible for approximately 37,000 deaths annually and contribute to a further 110,000 across the EU. This is because, every person comes in contact several times per day with bacteria via touching inanimate objects such as handrails, shopping carts, door knobs etc and thus, the hazard of infections is more than evident. In order to overcome this important social problem, the SMEs participants propose a novel solution to be used against diseases transmission: The application of new copper based coatings in metallic objects with photo-catalytic imposed anti-microbial and self cleaning activity. These new composite coatings will consist of a copper matrix and chemically modified TiO2 nano-particles as reinforcing mean, and will present enhanced photo-catalytic activity under visible light irradiation. They will be applied in various metallic objects such as handles, door knobs or rails, which can potentially be reservoirs of communicable viruses, and thus will lead to a decrease of the risk of getting infected by a factor of >50%.
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