NOVO will develop novel sonochemical and enzymatic technologies for antimicrobial functionalization of medical devices motivated by the fact that conventional antimicrobial treatments fail in the prevention of biofilms.
More than 60% of bacterial infections currently treated in hospitals are caused by bacterial biofilms. Catheter-associated biofilm urinary tract infections alone account for approximately 40% of all hospital-acquired infections including approximately half of the patients receiving an indwelling urethral catheter. However, the existence of distinct bacterial phenotypes, and the biofilm polymer matrix where the bacteria are incorporated, makes biofilms resistant to most conventional antibacterial agents and to the host defence mechanism. As a result, urologists have to remove the catheter from the patient after 24-48 hours along with prolonged antibiotic therapy in case of infection.
NOVO aims to develop three distinct strategies for prevention of biofilms on medical indwelling devices. First, sonochemical coating with nanoparticles to impart antibacterial surface properties will be assessed (fig.2A). Second, coating of antimicrobial phenolics will be investigated (fig.2B). The third approach involves the immobilisation of enzymes in-situ generating antimicrobial molecules (fig.2C).
A new ultrasound based process for coating medical devices will result from the NOVO project. Novel coating technologies of nanoparticles, phenolic molecules and enzymes will become available. The latter strategy based on enzyme will allow on-demand production of biocides. Novel approaches to destroy and prevent biofilms are one of the most important medical issues. The realization of this project will effectively contribute to the transformation of the European medicine and implants related treatments as well as the relevant industries from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive phase, which will further contribute to the EU WW position in these fields. This project is part of the chain in this transformation, introducing high added value technologies in a sustainable manner.
NOVO will develop three strategies for antimicrobial functionalization of medical devices. These technologies will have a wide range of applications e.g. from medical (as assessed in this project) to food packaging or textiles.