University of Hertfordshire

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Description

Most of the world's population is now living in cities and travelling more. As a result we are more likely to come into contact with infections that we would not have been exposed to just a few decades ago due to interactions with more people. The environment plays an important role in the transmission of some infections and it is possible to reduce the transmission of such disease by better filtration of water and air. Some filtration systems are currently used which physically stop pathogens such as bacteria. However these systems cannot stop virus particles, are expensive, require frequent maintenance and careful disposal.

The aim of this project is to design one air and one water filter which will actively kill bacteria and viruses, thereby reducing their numbers in the environment. These filters will require less maintenance and be inexpensive to produce. During the project, we will first test the antimicrobial effect of a variety of nanoparticles. These will then be modified chemically so that they can be incorporated into materials that are suitable for water and air filtration. The filters containing the antimicrobial nanoparticles will be produced using a new EPSRC funded spinning technology developed at UCL. Once we have produced the antimicrobial filtration materials, we will test their ability to kill viruses in air and bacteria in water. We will test filters with different concentrations of antimicrobial nanoparticles and with different depths. We will also make sure that the filters are effective at flow rates that are used in the real world.
This EPSRC project aims to develop a low-cost, highly efficient and quality antimicrobial filtration system for hospital air and water purification applications. The research at UH will focus on the selection, full characterization and surface treatment/modification of some highly active antimicrobial nanoparticles (AMNP). These nanoparticles will be incorporated into fibrous mats/pads first, and then physically and biologically tested by our research project partners at UCL and GOSH using a patented PG technique. The research outcomes will be demonstrated by the results on antimicrobial on the filtration. The activities of optimised nanomaterials against microbes, pathogens and organisms will be elucidated regarding the hospital water and air filtration.
The project at UH will be started from selecting, preparing the antimicrobial nanoparticles for incorporating team into mats. These will include characterization of the AMNPs using innovative physical, chemical and biological analyses for achieving a maximum antimicrobial efficacy and optimal. The surface treatment and modification on the AMNPs will be aiming at two suspension systems ready for the gyration process and operations.
The antimicrobial filters will be of most interest to the healthcare industry in the first instance, but they will also be relevant to busy public buildings (such as schools and care homes) and transport vehicles (such as aeroplanes). Furthermore, the filters will be capable of oxidising non-biological materials, like tar and pollution particulates and will improve air quality in a range of indoor environments. During the project, we will be collaborating with industrial partners (Pall, the world's biggest filtration company) and clinicians to ensure that we produce a viable product. At the end of the project, the technology will be validated and ready for scale-up production, and we plan to apply for further funding for a collaborative project with industry.

Key findings

Nanoparticles bio-functionality and ability against microbial
Short titleAntimicrobial fabrics for filters
AcronymAMNP
StatusFinished
Period1/08/165/07/19

Research outputs

ID: 10374455