IIS Biodonostia and Donostia University Hospital are participating in the European project “FLEXPOL,” developing a pilot line for the efficient, low-cost production of antimicrobial adhesive films, validating the film’s activity and valuing its efficacy, durability and resistance, in addition to other elements.

Safety rails on the sides of beds, auxiliary trays, telephones and alarm buttons, furniture, handles or taps. Patient rooms and other hospital areas are places where the bacteria found on different surfaces can end up leading to infection. For the most vulnerable patients, these infections can be quite serious.

The European project “FLEXPOL” brings together a consortium of collaborators from the research field and the industry from Italy, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom and Germany to develop a pilot line for the efficient, low-cost production of adhesive antimicrobial films. These films are placed on large surfaces around the patients to reduce the bacterial load, and thereby the risk of contamination and infection. The combination of the material and the surface structure of these films can kill most germs, and inhibit bacterial growth with 99% specific efficacy. This not only guarantees protection for patients and hospital staff. It can also lead to considerable economic savings, due to reduced detergent and disinfectant expenses.

The research group from Biodonostia Institute, led by Dr Gustavo Cilla, Head of the Microbiology Department at the Donostia University Hospital, will be in charge of validating the FLEXPOL antimicrobial film’s activity in a hospital setting and at a retirement home. The Microbiology Department shall rate the efficacy, durability and resistance of the FLEXPOL film against contamination in patients’ rooms and visiting areas. Moreover, it shall evaluate the film’s lifespan and compatibility with cleaning and disinfection systems established at different centres.

The “FLEXPOL” project, which began in January 2017 and will end in December 2019, is part of the Horizon 2020 Programme. It received 5.17 million euros in financing from the European Union.

Project participants: Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT (Germany); IK4-Tekniker Research Alliance (Spain); Granta Design Ltd. (United Kingdom); Universidade do Minho (Portugal); Hospital Universitario Donostia – IIS Biodonostia (Spain); Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) (Spain); Propagroup S.p.A. (Italy); Universidad de Alicante (Spain); Celanese SO.F.TER, (Italy); Naturality Research and Development S.L. (Spain)

Further information on the project website: www.flexpol.eu

Project coordinator website:(http://www.ipt.fraunhofer.de/en/Press/Pressreleases.html)