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Detection, control and actions on biofilms using piezomaterials and piezoelectric transduders

Total activity: 2
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
121.000,00 €
Start date
End date
biofilms, metrologia, piezoelectric resonators, piezoelectric sensors, resonadores piezoeléctricos, sensores piezoeléctricos, ultrasonic metrology, ultrasonidos, ultrasoound
Microorganisms, such as bacteria, develop in their ecosystems in a communitarian way, forming colonies. In most cases, these colonies fix themselves
in interfaces of the host system in the form of biofilms, which help them to retain nutrients and protect themselves from environmental hazards. The
formation of these complex communities seriously hinders their removal with biocidal agents such as antibiotics. Biofilms are particularly harmful when
growing on implanted materials (for example, in prosthesis). Therefore, it is an ongoing research endeavour to seek early diagnostic and treatment
systems for biofilms.
The project makes a novel proposal that seeks, on one side, to develop a characterization technique for biofilms by designing a multiple analysis device
based on piezoelectric resonators working in parallel. On the other side, the project will explore techniques to stress or remove biofilms from two
approaches. The first one is the action of focused longitudinal ultrasonic waves, with intensities up to 3 W/cm2, to produce thermal and non-thermal
effects as is the case in sonoporation. The second approach is the application of oscillating electric potential changes in the vicinity of the biofilms.
If this second approach turns out to be positive, it will open a new treatment paradigm with high impact scientific and technological consequences
because, by using piezoelectric substrates, it will be possible to apply the electric treatment with a simple, non-invasive, external sonication. During the
project, tests to achieve the necessary pulsed electric voltages will be performed using ultrasonic sonication on piezoelectric materials. To provide a
programmable source of focused ultrasound with suited intensity, specific array transducers based on piezocomposite materials, will be developed.
Metrological techniques adapted to these transducers and energies will also be developed.
By the other side, the characterization device based on resonators will contribute significantly to the biofilm development knowledgement, accelerating
the research on treatment and prevention techniques. In addition, during the proyect, this instrument will help to study the effects of longitudinal waves
and electrical charge on biofilms, as a result of the on-line and non-invasive features of this technique.
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Call year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


Scientific and technological production

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