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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N034228/1
Title: Antimicrobial filters for hospital air and water systems
Principal Investigator: Ciric, Dr L
Other Investigators:
Cloutman-Green, Dr E E Edirisinghe, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr M Suntharavathanan
Project Partners:
GAMA Healthcare Ltd Intrinsiq Materials Limited Pall Corporation
Pathogen Solutions Queen Mary University of London
Department: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 18 July 2016 Ends: 05 July 2019 Value (£): 532,527
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Building Ops & Management
Materials Characterisation Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
EP/N034368/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
02 Jun 2016 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 1 and 2 June 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
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.

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 airplanes). 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 (including Pall Corporation, 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 in order to do this.
Key Findings
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Summary
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