EU Research Project: Novel nanocoatings guard against viruses and bacteria

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An EU research project led by the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) and the University of Birmingham is developing nanocoatings that inactivate viruses and bacteria. This should prevent contact infections via surfaces and thereby increases health protection. The STOP (Surface Transfer of Pathogens) project involves 15 European partners from industry and academia.

Surfaces in highly frequented areas, such as door openers or handles in public transport, door handles in doctors’ practice or PIN pads at ATMs can promote the transmission and spread of viruses or bacteria. This can have dangerous consequences, especially for older people, small children and those with previous illnesses. Nanocoatings applied to surfaces should restrict these transmission routes in the future.

“Outbreaks of highly infectious pathogens such as noroviruses, E. coli or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have shown how important it is to interrupt transmission chains,” says Frank Schreiber, coordinator of the project at BAM. “In our project, we want to combine modern nanotechnologies with innovative materials to develop surface coatings that protect us from pathogens that are mainly transmitted via surfaces.”, adds project coordinator Prof. Artemis Stamboulis from the University of Birmingham.

The project will develop various substances that enable highly flexible and durable coatings, have a broad spectrum of antiviral and antimicrobial properties and avoid the development of resistance. The focus is on nanoparticles and antimicrobial peptides, i.e. protein molecules that are also naturally produced by living organisms to defend themselves against bacteria. In addition, it will be investigated whether the antiviral and antibacterial effects can also be achieved via nanoscale surface modifications of high-touch materials and whether such nano-structures can be combined with chemical modifications to enable even better protection. Apel Laser will be responsible for the investigation and development of a solution to adapt ultra-short pulse laser processing for the structuring of larger surfaces.

The efficacy of the nanocoatings will be investigated both in the laboratory and under real-world conditions, e.g. in nursing homes. New test methods will be developed, which then should lead to new standards for antiviral and antibacterial testing of high-touch materials. In addition, safety aspects of nanomaterials will be examined in detail through studies on human and environmental toxicity and life cycle analyses.

The project will run until August 2026 and the first results are expected in February 2024.

Further information on the project can be found at


Un proiect de cercetare european condus de Institutul BAM si Universitatea din Birmingham are scopul de a dezvolta nano-coating-uri ce inactiveaza virusurile si bacteriile. Astfel, pot fi prevenite infectari prin contactul cu suprafetele. Proiectul STOP (Surface Transfer of Pathogens) reuneste 15 parteneri europeni din industrie si din mediul academic, inclusiv Apel Laser.

Suprafetele din zonele de contact frecvent, precum manerele de usi sau barele de sprijin din mijloacele de transport in comun, intrarile in cabinetele medicale sau tastele pentru codurile PIN de la bancomate pot promova transferul de virusuri si bacterii. Pot aparea consecinte periculoase, in mod special pentru oamenii in varsta, copiii mici si cei cu alte afectiuni de sanatate. Nanocoating-uri aplicate pe suprafete pot diminua acest risc de transmitere.

‘Focarele de patogeni puternic infectiosi, precum norovirusurile, E. coli sau MRSA au aratat cat de important este sa fie intrerupt lantul de transmitere’, a spus Frank Schreiber, coordonatorul proiectului la BAM. ‘In proiectul nostru, dorim sa combinam nanotehnologiile moderne cu materiale inovative pentru a dezvolta coating-uri de suprafata care ne protejeaza de patogenii transmisibili prin contactul cu suprafete’, a adaugat coordonatoarea proiectului, Prof. Artemis Stamboulis, de la Universitatea din Birmingham.

In cadrul proiectului vor fi dezvoltate diferite substante ce permit aplicarea de coating-uri foarte flexibile si durabile, care au un spectru larg de properietati antivirale si antimicrobiene si care evita dezvoltarea unei rezistente. Nanoparticulele si peptidele antimicrobiene sunt punctul central de interes. In plus, va fi cercetat daca efecte antivirale si antibacteriene pot fi obtinute prin nanostructurari ale acestor suprafete de contact frecvent, utilizand laseri cu impulsuri ultra-scurte. Compania Apel Laser va fi responsabila de investigarea si dezvoltarea unei solutii pentru adaptarea acestor procesari laser pentru suprafate mai mari.

Eficienta acestor nanocoating-uri va fi investigata atat in laborator, cat si sub conditii reale, e.g. in case de batrani. Noi metode de testare vor fi dezvoltate, ce ar trebui sa duca la noi standarde pentru testarea antivirala si antibacteriana a materialelor din spatiile publice. In plus, aspecte de siguranta ale nanomaterialelor vor fi examinate in detaliu prin studiul asupra toxicitatii catre oameni si mediu.

Proiectul se va desfasura pana in August 2026, iar primele rezultate sunt asteptate pentru Februarie 2024.

Mai multe informatii pot fi gasite pe pagina proiectului:

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