March 11, 2024

RELIANCE reporting first results at Review Meeting

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The last two months have been pretty hectic for RELIANCE partners as we have been working hard summing up and organizing the first 18-month period of the project, while getting ready to report first results and achievements to the project monitoring experts of the European Commission.

The 1st Review Meeting we held in February 2024. It went in a cooperative and friendly spirit of an open dialogue, sharing consortium impressive progress on the development of innovative, high performance antimicrobial coatings. The novel copper silica mesoporous nanoparticles (Cu-SMIN) represent a genuine topic of interest due to the new class of biocidal additives with a synergistic mode of action and low impact on the environment. The efforts so far have been focused on obtaining the Cu-SMIN structure and the initial optimization of the synthesis conditions for the nanoparticles. Various methods for incorporating copper on the SMIN particles are being explored and the activities on nanoparticles functionalization with essential oils is in progress.  With regard to the second family of additives, the AMP-functionalized Cu-SMIN for enhanced contact killing action, several antimicrobial peptides have been extracted from keratin, with proved antiviral and antibacterial activity.

With regard to the green synthesis of sustainable binder formulations for the nanocoatings, partners were eager to share that the project is on track with the development of fluorine-free hybrid (inorganic-organic) sol-gel based coatings that are considered for use with home appliances. The initial expectations regarding easy-to-clean performance combined with mechanical resistance, good aesthetic appearance and resistance to cleaning agents was upgraded in the course of the project, with oleophobicity being additionally investigated.  Another big challenge that we undertook from the beginning was to formulate liquid with lowest possible content of volatile organic solvent.

The nanostructuration techniques have been optimized, with certain methods achieving excellent results and others needing more work. Partners have been developing a process of fabrics pretreatment with hydrogels based on natural components, free of persistent chemicals.

Throughout the lifespan of RELIANCE, sustainability is at the core in all phases of the value chain. Some of our forthcoming activities comprise the full life cycle assessment of selected bioactives and nanocoatings, including “cradle to cradle” environmental footprint and economic validation of the novel developments, offering the possibility to explore additional market applications. The toxicity of novel mesoporous nanoparticles and nanocoatings are to be addressed with an eco- and cyto-toxicological regulatory evaluation which will be completed with in-vivo tests.

RELIANCE consortium continues its research and creative work towards achieving project’s ambitious objectives, pleased with the positive evaluation of the Commission and taking into account its recommendations. Stay tuned and connect with us on social media for breakthrough news and more insights on our path from the lab to the demo use cases.

Pathogens contributing to spread of infections can cause considerable cost in human life and economic damage. It is estimated that only antimicrobial resistance infections are responsible for 110,000 deaths and 1.5 billion EUR per year in healthcare costs and productivity losses.

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