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    Triple-A-COAT will develop antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral coatings based on nanocellulose that has been modified to enhance its activity against pathogens:

    • Grafting or adsorption of new antimicrobial agents, inspired by compounds in nature,
    • Nanopatterning of the surface to prevent microbial adhesion and growth

    These nature-inspired approaches have minimal risk of resistance development, and avoid the safety issues of nanoparticles.

    We are working with the three main types of nanocellulose. From the multiple materials and approaches we have available, we will develop a technology platform including:

    • coatings and films suited to different applications,
    • antimicrobial activity that can be adjusted towards a broad range of pathogens, or that is more targeted
    • the knowhow to manufacture and apply the coatings

    Our test case for the project is the public transport environment. Considering surfaces found in a bus, we will develop coatings that can be applied on metal, plastic, glass and seat fabric.

    At each stage of development, we will test the coatings for their antimicrobial or antiviral activity, and their other performance parameters (durability, uniformity, appearance etc). We have defined several technical objectives or benchmarks for the performance of the coatings.

    The final stage of the project will involve scale-up of production, and a practical demonstration of the three best performing coatings in a bus simulation booth constructed by our partner Van Hool at the campus of KU Leuven.

    The project lasts 4 years from September 2022 until August 2026. The project activities are organised in 7 work packages:

    • WP1 Nanocellulose (months 1-27): modifying the nanocellulose with the antimicrobial compounds and nanopatterning
    • WP2 Coating (months 1-27): developing coatings and films with the modified nanocellulose that sticks well to surfaces
    • WP3 Application (months 13-33): developing ways to apply the coatings to surfaces, e.g. by spray coating or as a film
    • WP4 Demonstration (months 28-45): scale up of production and evaluation of the coatings in a bus simulation booth
    • WP5 Life cycle assessment (months 19-48): to evaluate the environmental performance of the coatings
    • WP6 Communication, Dissemination and Innovation (months 1-48): communicating about our research, and preparations for exploitation and use of the results
    • WP7 Project coordination (months 1-48): management of the project


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