Multidisciplinary European training network for de.. (PRINT-AID)
Multidisciplinary European training network for development of personalized anti-infective medical devices combining printing technologies and antimicrobial functionality
Start date: Jan 1, 2017,
End date: Dec 31, 2020
According to ECDC, over 4 million healthcare-associated infections in the EU cause 37,000 deaths and cost EUR 7 billion/year. Half of them are related to medical devices (i.e., catheters, implants) and 80% of these are related to bacterial biofilms. A recent EC report highlighted the medical device sector’s role in driving EU economic growth, employing 500k people in 25k companies (80% are SMEs) with annual sales of EUR 85 billion. The strategy to prevent medical device-infections is alteration of the device’s surface with antimicrobials. However, current antimicrobial surfaces don’t control bacterial growth in tissue surrounding implants, and only Sterilex® has received regulatory approval in the US as anti-biofilm agent. Participants in this proposal have earlier demonstrated a dramatic in vitro inhibition of biofilm formation by 3D-printing surfaces with antibiotics incorporated into the carrier polymers. This discovery opens new possibilities for printed medical devices that better resist biofilms. Our objective is to set-up a new European education platform to guide and inspire young researchers in the intersectoral exploration of innovative routes to counteract microbial biofilms by fabricating anti-infective, tailored, 3D-printed medical devices. Current opportunities for young researchers to receive an structured, inter-sectoral and up-to-date education on personalized medicine and medical devices are marginal, and to our knowledge PRINT-AID is the first ETN set up for this purpose. State-of-the-art printing technologies will be combined with in vitro and in vivo biofilm models and novel tools for data integration/standardization. Doctoral training will be performed within a high-quality network of 12 participants (5 industrial) from the EU and US. It will include online and face-to-face courses taught by researchers with academic and industrial expertise in biofilms, 3D-printing research, antimicrobials, material science, and drug development.
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