Healthcare-related infections are a serious global problem, adding approximately € 7 billion annually in direct costs to European healthcare. The majority of these infections can be linked to the use of invasive medical technology products that provide a platform for bacteria to colonize. This in turn gives rise to infections and an increased risk of developing antibiotic resistance. An effective, safe and affordable antibacterial surface that can be used on medical devices and make a big difference therefore has a substantial commercial value.
In previous projects supported by SIO Grafen, we have demonstrated that a surface with upright graphene flakes prevents bacterial colonization very effectively. The antibacterial effect depends on the hydrophobicity of the graphene and unique 2D structure, which allows them to puncture bacteria that attempt to colonize the surface. The mechanical bactericidal mechanism makes this surface particularly suitable for use on medical devices because it has the potential to work against most bacterial types - including antibiotic resistant strains - and since it only affects bacteria that attempt to colonize the surface, no new resistance development is induced.
The goal of this project is to develop the process for this antibacterial surface so that it becomes useful for use on medical devices and thereby reduce the risk of causing infection. The plan is to:
- Utilize downscaled production equipment to screen more polymer materials and graphene grades
- Investigate and develop improved production methods
- Evaluate and characterize the antibacterial properties of different surface variants
- Make an assessment of the possibilities and limitations of using the graphene-based surface for medical device applications.
Associate Professor at Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials
Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2022
Areas of Advance