'Early detection of an incipient wound infection is a challenge for the attending physician , since its early diagnosis allows the timely initiation of treatment, thus reducing the severity of the disease . Currently, however, wound infection is not diagnosed until becoming already evident. As a consequence, the treatment of the patient is further complicated and more likely to have a negative outcome4. Often wounds are treated with antibiotics before even the infection appears, leading to overdoses and development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Considering that optimal efficiency is reached when a material serves multiple functions without compromise, consortium partners have discovered the means to convert wound dressings into a diagnostic tool capable to inform both patient and therapist about the wound status, thus directing towards the following therapeutic step. The proposed functional materials include a real time diagnostic reaction that positively influences the wound healing due to the timely intervention to treat infection or proteolytic stasis in the wound
The novel InFact technology will be translated into a low-cost, real-time diagnostic tool as a constituent part of a wound dressing material, i.e. the 'triple-P' materials concept:
- Protective - by a decoy substrate for destructive proteases
- Predictive – providing a cumulative wound status signal to predict the infection transition
- Proactive - changing the dressing according to a signal, rather than on a schedule base, will provide therapeutic response in time, and not too late.
More specifically, the functional materials (e.g. absorbent fibres and hydrocolloid pads) will incorporate immobilized substrates for three enzymes: myeloperoxidase, lysozyme and elastase. Upon infection, these enzymatic activities are highly elevated in wound fluids, and can be detected by the color change of the functional materials, visible via a window in the dressing.'
'NanoQuench project is about the development of alternative methods to coat indewelling medical devices to control microbial biofilms with relevance to clinical drug resistance. Biofilms are bacterial communities embedded in a self-produced polymeric matrix that commonly grow on indwelling medical devices, such as catheters. This mode of growing is believed to be regulated by a quorum-sensing (QS) system, a unique mechanism of communication that bacterial cells use through the secretion and uptake of small hormone-like molecules, called autoinducers. Due to their innate resistance to the immune system and low susceptibility to antibiotics, the microbial biofilms are difficult to treat and are a major factor in the morbidity and mortality of most infectious diseases. Methods by which the initial stages of bacterial attachment and biofilm formation can be restricted or prevented are therefore needed. Technologies that avoid catheter biofilm formation are based mainly on the application of conventional antimicrobial agents. However, the high resistance of bacteria within the biofilm makes any single therapeutic intervention unlikely to have sufficient effect.
This project focuses on the development of an integrated technological platform comprising quorum quenching enzymes and novel antibacterial agents (nanoantibiotics), able to counteract biofilm formation and at the same time avoid development of bacterial resistance to the therapy. These functional compounds will be coated onto catheters via layer-by-layer technique or a novel ultrasonic process.'
The objective is a first industrial application of the eco-innovative solution ERUTAN (nature backwards), with the intention to reach global replication of the environmentally friendly production process for wool floor coverings. ERUTAN is developed at pilot scale by three SME/s in cooperation with European R&D partners and brings a high added value to the global carpet market. The main objectives and steps beyond the state-of-the-art of this project are: i) up-scaling of an innovative, sustainable enzymatic wool scouring method, ii) up-scaling of a novel enzymatic process for bonding between the yarns and supporting material of the carpet. WP2, realisation of an industrial enzymatic wool scouring process, enables sheep farmers worldwide to scour their own raw wool environmentally responsible. The carpet backing approach brings considerable energy saving and low, if any, carbon footprint using naturally based adhesives and enzymes.
ERUTAN is the first real innovation in manufacturing of textile floor covering since 1960. Although the single production steps remain equal, the environmental impact and production method change greatly. The pilot line for wool scouring, located at partner JMS, will be adapted to reach the industrial standard of scouring 10 tons of raw wool within 6 hours. Intensification is further achieved by optimizing enzyme formulation and conditions for application. Regarding the enzymatic bonding process 4 tasks are planned for WP3: Identification of potential providers for adhesives precursors and enzymes, Up-scaling backing line, Up-scaling adhesive paste, Optimization of process parameters and paste application technology. Within LCA work package, input of ERUTAN carpet after its use phase into a second life such as substrates for the agro and food industry, is taken into account. In WP5, business plan related to the exploitation and commercialization of the industrially developed processes and products. Dissemination activities are in WP6.