RELIANCE aims to design and develop smart response self-disinfectant antimicrobial nano-coatings based on a new range of smart antimicrobial nanoparticles. Such nanoparticles will consist of mesoporous silica nanoparticles with metallic copper in their structure, modified with bio-based bioactive compounds: Antimicrobial peptides (AMP’s) based on protein containing waste streams, and essential oils (EOs) coming from  non-edible plants.

The antibacterial action of these additives will be adjusted to the specific application, according to the dosages and durability requirements. In this way, two alternatives to incorporate the bioactive compounds will be considered:

  1. The incorporation of the bio-based EO into the porous substrate, to allow a controlled release (T or pH) of the bioactive compounds to the environment
  2. The attachment of the AMP to the nanoparticles surface, to allow a long-term action of the bioactive compound to the environment.

RELIANCE combines contact killing and leachable antibacterial actions ascribed to the additive with the non-sticking action due to the coatings formulation, thus providing an integral holistic solution to antimicrobial problems on different surfaces.

The nature of the coatings, their characteristics (hydrophobicity and surface roughness) and their application methods (direct deposition by cold-atmospheric plasma, high throughput spraying or selective digital  printing) will be specifically designed to allow not only the microbial repelling action, but also the adhesion of the coatings to different substrates commonly found in our living environments, such as metals, plastics or textiles, and to maximize their durability (in terms of performance and antibacterial properties).

In addition to the present-day possibilities of conventional chemicals, sustainability and eco-design criteria will be considered in the selection of the bio-actives, and on the development of the nano-coatings.

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This project has received funding in the EU Horizon programme HORIZON-CL4-2021-RESILIENCE-01, under grant number 101058570