'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 FLEXICAST project presents knowledge-based technologies that aim to follow the way to transform the conventional (batch-by-batch) foundry process into a flexible (mold-by-mold) process. The proposal technologies will be applicable not only to new cast iron foundry lines, but also is readily available to be retro-fitted to existing plants. The specific objectives are:a)A cast iron production cell. Together with melting, treatment and pouring sub processes in a cast iron production cell is essential and imperative. We propose to install the melting shop closer to the pouring system kept closed on the mould carrousel, while the transfer and treatment ladle is removed. The widespread adoption of new melting shop as an operating process is in itself fostering the creation of even more powerful induction-plasma power supplies, versatile melt control technology, high-power density furnaces, temperature control systems, nodularization systems(magnesium vapour), inoculation systems, and automated pouring systems.b)Integration of Artificial Intelligence-based Control System. The objective is to develop a software platform. This can help us to the prediction of local structures, phases and ultimately the local mechanical properties, to asses casting quality in the foundry. In this point, also, three specific methodologies will be studied and improved:DTA analysis and on-line microstructural analysis and X-ray for on-line inspection.c)A robot cell for automated metal finishing processes. d)Demo pilot plant in real industrial settings in order to demonstrate a clear breakthrough using project development in comparison with the state-of-art solutions. Some results are:a)Cast iron manufacturing cell represents, at least, 30% energy reduction in comparison with conventional melting systems.b)Drastic reduction melt temperature scattering during molding process. Reduce metal transport (No transfer and treatment ladles).c)Overheating reduction.d)Reduce rejection of casting pieces'