'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 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'