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Antimicrobial FLEXible POLymers for its use in hospital environments (FLEXPOL)
Start date: Jan 1, 2017, End date: Dec 31, 2019 PROJECT  ONGOING 

FLEXPOL aims to develop a pilot line for the production of a cost effective antimicrobial (AM) adhesive film for its use in hospitals. The obtained adhesive film will inhibit growth of a wide range of microbes and will be suitable for high-touch surfaces, providing a durable protection with good resistance. It will assure the highest level of hygiene and patient safety, reducing the use of disinfectants.These objectives will be achieved, using a multi-functional approach combining prevention of adhesion with killing of microorganisms, by means of essential oil (EO) emulsions embedded in a micro and nanopatterned polypropylene matrix. FLEXPOL covers the following key aspects:-It addresses the development, upscaling and demonstration in a relevant industrial environment of the production of films with AM, biocompatible and anti-adhesive properties. Existing extrusion and nanoimprinting pilot lines will act as the starting point in which new additives based on blends of EO will be incorporated. -Previously validated technologies constitute the basis of the approach. These technologies will be extended to large scale production and demonstrated in a real operational environment. The pilot line will include real time characterization for inspection of the film at the nanoscale.-Robustness and repeatability of film fabrication and its behavior in a real environment will be studied. The effectiveness of the solution will be compared with standard protocols.-Materials are chosen according to their cost for large-scale application. Productivity and cost of the fabrication process will be analyzed attending to energetic optimization of the product fabrication and the raw material cost. -Access to the pilot line for AM films in this or a different application will be ensured to European Industries at a cost that promotes technology transfer.-Non-technological aspects key for the marketing of the product (such as regulatory issues, HSE aspects, LCA...) are considered.

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