'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.'
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.
'The focus of APROPOS is to develop novel eco-efficient bio-mechanical processing solutions to enrich intermediate fractions from industrial high protein and oil-containing process residues originating from agriculture and fisheries. Enzyme-aided modification steps are developed for the intermediate fractions to obtain value-added nutritive and bio-active components, chemical as well as functional bio-materials suitable for exploitation in food, skin care, wound healing, bio-pesticide and soil improvement product applications. Mentioned residues are voluminous in Europe and globally significant. Zero waste concepts to be developed aim at avoidance of unnecessary purification of the components, establishment of local and distributed processing units in connection with the primary production and new business opportunities essentially for SMEs in Europe and beyond. An emphasis is directed to East Africa and India to support their needs to process local residues to components directed to nourish infants and fight against pests, respectively, in rural areas of both regions. The success of technological developments will be assessed in terms of economical feasibility, raw material efficiency and environmental impacts. The assessment will also include study on how the developed residue producer-end use value chain will affect the existing value chain from the residue producer to feed or energy. The multidisciplinary research group and cross-industrial SME group together cover the whole value chain from residue producers and processors to various end-users. The expertises of the partners include crop and fish processing, process hard ware manufacture, mechanical, chemical and biotechnical biomaterial processing, biomaterial up-grading and analytics, enzyme technology, end-product applications, assessment of eco-efficiency and value chains, technology transfer and commercialization. Feasibility of the developed processes is verified by demonstrations. Bio-mechanical processi'
'Biofilms are bacterial communities encased in a self-produced hydrated polymeric matrix. An important characteristic of microbial biofilms is their innate resistance to the immune system and susceptibility to antibiotics. This resistance has made microbial biofilms a common cause of medical infections, and difficult-to-treat infections caused by colonized foreign bodies.
The NOVO project aims at developing novel approaches to prevent and/or degrade biofilms on catheters elongating their usage in humans up to 10 days.
Two complementary approaches for biofilm prophylaxis will be developed:
A. Ultrasonic coating of Inorganic antibiofouling agents (process developed by partner BIU) based on a single step sonochemical process to: a) Produce metal fluorides or metal oxides (e.g. MgF2, ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) and simultaneously b) Impregnate them as antibacterial factors on the catheters. c) Co-coating with bio-inert polymer layers (containing highly hydrophilic antifouling polyethylene glycol, zwitterionic moieties or sugar-groups) grafted onto NPs of adjusted size to the size of MgF2/ZnO NPs or directly onto MgF2/ZnO NPs; to form a hydrogel layer for the protection of the MgF2/ZnO antibiofouling activity.
B. Bio/organic antibiofouling activation: 1) Novel coating for catheters based on radical catalyzed polymers to yield anti-bacterial activity. An enzymatic reaction will be applied on the phenolic compounds to generate phenolic radicals to be further polymerized on the catheter surface as an antibiofilm agent. 2) Develop and engineer Cellobiose Dehydrogenases (CDH) that actively oxidizes and degrades biofilms polysaccharides concomitantly producing stoichiometrically H2O2 as antibacterial agent. The enzymes will be coated on the catheters via a lubricant or by the Ultrasonic (US) process after their immobilization. Some novel CDH representatives already show very low activity on glucose which should be removed by further genetic engineering.'
'Hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections are a major financial issue in the European healthcare system. The financial impact of these infections counteract medical advances and expensive medical treatments by increasing the length of hospital stay by at least 8 days on average per affected patient, hence adding more than 10 millions patient days in hospitals in Europe per year. The statistics on patient safety in the EU show alarming tendencies : - 1 in 10 patients are affected by hospital-acquired infections - 3 million deaths are caused by hospital-acquired infections An active infection control program of patients and personnel and hygiene measures, have proven to significantly reduce both the number of infections and hospitalisation costs . The SONO project directly addresses the above problems by developing a pilot line for the production of medical antibacterial textiles. The pilot line will be based on the scale-up of a sonochemical process developed and patented at BIU laboratories. The pilot line will use a sonochemical technique to produce and deposit inorganic, antimicrobial nanoparticles on medical textiles, e.g. hospital sheets, medical coats and bandages. Sonicators are used industrially for heavy and light duty cleaning, for water disinfection and for sewage treatment. It is also used in the food industry for emulsification and drying. The proposed concept based on one step sonochemical process to produce nanoparticles and impregnate them as antibacterial factors on textile is novel and does not exist on an industrial scale. The concept has already been proven (and patented ) on a lab scale where sonochemistry was applied to impregnate nanoparticles in a single-step process. It was demonstrated that due to the special properties of the sonochemical method the antibacterial nanoparticles are adsorbed permanently on the fibres even after 70 “laundry cycles”. The sonochemical impregnation process is a one-step procedure in which the nanopa'
G-protein-coupled receptors are integral membrane proteins which constitute the largest family of signal transduction molecules participating in the majority of normal physiological processes. G-protein-coupled receptors are responsible for the control of enzyme activity, ion channels and vesicle transport, and they respond to a wide variety of stimuli, like signals involved in sensory systems such as vision, taste and olfaction, but also to a diverse set of chemical signals such as lipids, hormones, neurotransmitters, amino acids, nucleotides, peptides and proteins. This family of receptors is being widely studied because of its potential use as pharmacological targets in drug development, and recently also for its potential use in the development of novel biosensors. G-protein-coupled receptors are specifically designed to fold and function in a lipid bilayer environment, where these membrane proteins are remarkably stable and achieve their optimal performance. The currently used technology for the purification of G-protein-coupled receptors consists in their extraction from the cell membrane and solubilization into detergent micelles. A common drawback of this strategy is that G-protein-coupled receptors solubilized in typical detergents show rather poor conformational stability, which may result in relatively rapid inactivation. The poor stability of detergent-solubilized samples renders many membrane proteins biochemically intractable. This precludes the determination of a high-resolution structure and imposes severe limitations for the development of applications. Thus, the enhancement of the stability of G-protein-coupled receptors is a major issue in order to facilitate structural determination and to unravel their potential in biotechnological applications. This work provides a brief overview of some current advances in the experimental methods for stabilizing G-protein-coupled receptors that can also be extended to other types of membrane proteins.