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Joint project

„Development of a manufacturing process for the production of long-lasting, biocidal self-disinfecting surfaces (BSS) for employment in hospitals, cosmetics, foodstuff industry and disaster control“

Background
Globalisation, tourism and increased migration within a growing population have all facilitated the rapid spread of germs and viruses. This is potentially damaging not just to humans but animals too, as intensive farming practices can have a negative health impact on livestock.

Preventive measures are essential in the fight against disease, especially with an epidemic (e.g. swine flu, bird flu, BSE, HIV, pulmonary fungal disease (Aspergillus), etc.). The high frequency of application means these measures should be free of side effects and environmentally compatible (sustainability of the measures). The functional coupling of biodegradable agents onto coated surfaces is therefore of special interest.

To protect organisms, nature has its own way of dealing with invading viruses, fungi and microorganisms. This usually involves the secretion of substances (a class of small proteins or peptides) which disrupt the membranes of the respective parasite. To date, hundreds of peptides are known that act against different microorganisms and have a bacteriostatic or biocidal effect (antimicrobial), and can be used to form the basis for targeted preventive measures.

Goals
The objective of this project is to develop a cost-effective manufacturing process for durable biocidal self-disinfecting surfaces, especially textiles, suitable for use in hospital hygiene, impregnated air conditioning filters, handkerchiefs, etc. This development of a “surface coupling” concentrates on the functional coupling of antimicrobial peptides and proteins to the solid phase (e.g., textiles, AC filters).
Through close collaboration between the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Technology (IBMT), ILBC GmbH and InVivo GmbH, different surface coatings will be developed, tested for antimicrobial efficacy, selected, modified as needed, and thus continuously optimised.

The following subprojects are currently in progress:

IBMT subproject:
Topic: Coupling of selected antimicrobial peptides and proteins on surfaces and textiles (surface coupling)

ILBC GmbH subproject:
Topic: Gene expression and production of suitable antimicrobial peptides for functional coupling on coated surfaces

InVivo GmbH subproject:
Topic: Upscaling and production of functional antimicrobial peptides/proteins on a preparative scale