What if we could avoid the spread of bacteria in hospital environments?

Every year 100,000 Danish patients get infected during hospitalization

This is found in a study made by SSI (Statens Serum Institut). Healthcare-associated infections are still one of the major causes of patient morbidity during hospitalization. Environmentally exposed hospital items such as door handles, bed rails and frames can easily harbour bacteria, and hence, be key areas for spreading bacteria. This is a particularly serious issue in intensive care units and in the case of immune-compromised patients. Therefore, self-disinfecting surfaces in healthcare locations receive increasing attention as additional strategies to the standard disinfection practices.

Door handles, in particular, are referred to as “critical contact points,” as door handles are the most frequently touched surface in any healthcare facility.

Especially, self-cleaning door handles are in focus in a cross-industry project between DTU, Elplatek A/S and the Fast Track consortium under the Innovation Fund Denmark. The latter is a societal partnership delivering services within materials engineering and gives access to swift and effective solutions within the field of materials engineering.
 

The solution is near

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The project is led by Elplatek and is funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. The antimicrobial coating consisting of an electroplated copper-silver alloy, which can kill bacteria on frequently touched surfaces in hospital environments.

Through the project, it has been proven that especially the alloy of copper and silver is what makes the bacteria-killing process unique.

Both copper and silver alloys are well-known for their antibacterial activity. The combination yields an alloy coating that possesses even high antimicrobial activity due to an electrochemically driven killing mechanism.

Furthermore, electroplating is a low-cost manufacturing process, feasible on large-scale production and allows a regenerative design approach.
 

After just two hours the coating shows incredible results

The antibacterial efficacy of the copper-silver electroplated coating has been demonstrated according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test method. Results have shown that the coating kills more than 99.9 % of Staphylococcus aureus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Enterobacter aerogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa already after two hours of exposure to the copper-silver surface.
 

Improving patient experiences, while saving money

By minimizing the spread of bacteria, in this case via door handles, we can avoid a huge part of the spread of bacteria in hospital facilities. This minimization will probably be able to save thousands of patients for uncomfortable and risky infections and eventually save enormous amounts of time and money.                                   

Fast Track is proud to be a partner in this present copper-silver project. Go to our website www.fast-track.nu to learn more about our other projects.


Sources:

-        https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/3000-doer-af-infektioner-paa-danske-sygehuse-hvert-aar
-        http://hygienesolutions.com/blog/2015/08/26/the-heightened-risk-for-the-transmission-of-hospital-acquired-infection-risk-from-untreated-door-handles-in-healthcare-and-care-home-environments/

Fast Track expert panel member, Per Møller, receives prestigious award

Professor Per Møller, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark was awarded the prestigious ”William Blum’s Scientific Achievement Award” on June 20th, 2017. The coveted prize within surface technology research is awarded by NASF (National Association for Surface Finishing) in the US. 

The prize is awarded to a person, who in theoretical as well as in practical ways has contributed to ground-breaking research within electro-chemical surface treatment. The prize award took place as part of the opening ceremony at the US SUR/FIN-2017 conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Per Møller in Atlanta, Georgia

Only a few scientists outside the US have received the award. One of the most well-known within the area, is the German professor Ernst Raub, who received the prize in 1974 in honor of his development of the modern theory behind electroplating.

A unanimous prize committee justified the award with the fact that professor Per Møller for many years has contributed internationally to the field of electroplating as well as to the scientific literature by publishing the book “Advanced Surface Technology - A holistic view on the extensive and intertwined world of applied surface engineering”. About the book NASF says “It’s the greatest and most important work within surface technology for the last 40 years”. The book is written in cooperation with Lars Pleth Nielsen, who is director and surface technology researcher at Danish Technological Institute.

With the honorable prize comes the obligation of giving the” William Blum Memorial Lecture”. Professor Per Møller will give this lecture targeting on his research fields at the SUR/FIN conference in Cleveland, Ohio, 2018.

With this award, professor Per Møller places a highly visible and distinguished pin of Danish advanced surface research and development on the world map.

Article by Michael Jensen

LinkedIn Article here