The recent outbreak of the COVID19 virus has demonstrated that costs in both human life and economic terms can be immense if measures are not in place to contain a spread of infection. It is apparent therefore that passive measures are in place to minimise the impact of current and future infection outbreaks. Nanoparticle filled coatings such as metal nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, metal oxide nanoparticles, heterostructures, patterned surfaces and graphene-based materials have demonstrated up to 99.9998% effectiveness against bacteria, mould and viruses.
Projects are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:
- Minimise the risk of spread of infections from harmful pathogens arising from everyday human activities;
- Create a healthier living and working environment and offer holistic solutions to people with health issues;
- Improve citizen health and enhance the EU’s reputation as a public health best practice region;
- Enhance economic benefits through reduction of lost hours of work through illness;
- Boost research, development and innovation in the EU;
- Provide business opportunities especially for SMEs;
- Sustainable synthesis of nanocoatings (including bio-based materials) especially with effectiveness against a range of pathogens.
Inorganic nanomaterials have demonstrated enhanced anti-microbial and anti-viral activity. They are also stable at high temperatures, robust, and have a long shelf life, compared to organic anti-microbial coatings. Research areas should address new antiviral and antibacterial nanocoatings for a range of applications addressing use on both surfaces of so-called high-traffic objects (e.g. door and window handles in public places, public transport, hospitals, public buildings, schools, elderly homes etc.) and/or coatings for textiles (e.g. protective clothing in food processing plants, laboratory coats, face masks, etc.).
The research should address the following aspects:
- Sustainable synthesis of nanocoatings/nanocomposites (including bio-based materials) with effectiveness against a range of pathogens;
- Application methods (both on surfaces and textiles);
- Surface adhesion and durability via assessing performance against wear (e.g. abrasion, washing, etc.) and degradation in the application environments on a variety of surfaces (e.g. glass, metals and various alloys, copper and steel, marble and stone slabs, ceramics and tiles, textiles and plastics);
- Toxicity of nanocoatings.
Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination.