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Novel Self-cleaning, anti-bacterial coatings, preventing disease transmission on everyday touched surfaces (SELFCLEAN)
Start date: Mar 1, 2013, End date: Feb 28, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Hygiene/antimicrobial issues in public places (hospitals, schools, hotels, public transportation etc) are of crucial importance as inattention could lead to spread of viral diseases or epidemics and consequently to deaths. A typical example is that of hospital acquired infections (HAI). According to The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in the EU, about 3,000,000 are infected annually with HAI and about 25,000 patients die from this. Such infections also bring extra healthcare costs and annual productivity losses of at least €1.5 billion. It is estimated that 15% of these infections is due to transmission through inanimate objects. Although sanitization and disinfection of surfaces using chemical liquids as chlorine or alcohol is a common practice to prevent transmission of diseases, many times such procedures are skipped, skimped or in the case of public transportation not practically feasible.There exists a great need for anti-bacterial/viral surfaces to reduce the spread of diseases. The SMEs of the consortium having identified this need propose the solution of self-cleaning, antibacterial electrolytic coatings of high aesthetics and durability. These composite coatings will consist of Sn-Ni matrix with doped TiO2 nanoparticles as a reinforcing mean. Doped-TiO2 nanoparticles having the ability to absorb visible light can be activated indoors and thus present enhanced photocatalytic activity.The incorporation of these doped-TiO2 nanoparticles in the Sn-Ni matrix will have as a result the self-cleaning and antibacterial properties. Of crucial importance is the percentage of the incorporated nanoparticles. In order to increase the co-deposition rate and consequently the photocatalytic activity, pulse current plating will be utilized. With this method higher co-deposition rate of nanoparticles can be achieved compared to the conventional direct current plating.These kind of coating will be able to operate under indoor light irradiation and can be applied to common touched objects (knobs, taps, handles) reducing the risk of infection’s transmission by 50-100%.
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