Smart Solutions for Anti-microbials in Healthcare

The Smart Materials Sector of the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network held a one day workshop that looked at the opportunities for smart materials and surfaces in healthcare.


Not all medical devices and equipment are suitable for sterilisation using an autoclave or cold sterilisation process (eg ethylene oxide). There is therefore a need for alternate materials and surfaces to current silver coatings and release systems which have the potential for assisting in the reduction of infection in hospitals through the provision of innovative technology on surfaces and within materials to prevent microbial growth and proliferation. Smart materials and surfaces have the potential to make major in-roads in this area without the release of potentially toxic bioactive agents.


There is also a lack of standards and metrology in this area which may be a barrier to adoption of new technology.

The aim of the workshop was to raise the awareness of the technologies available and discuss the current technology and applications with a view to identifying new solutions.


The challenge of biofilms in healthcare
Professor Bill Keevil – Director, Environmental Healthcare Unit, School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton

The clinical challenge of anti-microbial technologies
Dr David Jenkins – Consultant Medical Microbiologist & Lead Infection Control Doctor, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Challenges of bringing antimicrobial technologies to market 
Rachael Benson – Smith & Nephew Research Centre


The report from the event is available for members of the Materials KTN to download in PDF format. To view the report please click here