Stimuli Responsive Materials for the Rapid Detection and Treatment of Healthcare Associated Infections (STIMULUS)
Start Date and End Date
01 October 2024
H2020 - MSCA - European Training Networks (ETN)
Project Web Page
Current antimicrobial coatings rely on slow, passive diffusion of antimicrobials, hence the antimicrobial may not be sufficiently concentrated to eradicate the infection; such low concentration zones promote evolution of resistance. To tackle these challenges in healthcare in light of an increasingly aging population and unprecedented antibiotic resistance levels, there is an urgent need for dedicated research leaders in industry and academia. These scientists of the future still will need primary training in, e.g., chemistry or microbiology, but they will have to operate at the interface between disciplines. Future materials chemists will need to perform microbiology experiments and to appreciate the engineering required to translate a lab invention to a production prototype. They have to understand the societal, business and regulatory environment around new medical device development. The research focus of STIMULUS is on wound infections. The objectives are:
1) Diagnostic: To create materials that clearly and rapidly signal when infection is present;
2) Therapeutic: triggered release of antimicrobials to treat the infection;
3) Translational and theranostic: integration of responsive materials into prototype wound dressings.
Integrated with this research, we will create a lasting and comprehensive training programme for ESRs, making them suitable for leading research on theranostic medical devices.
Tackling ‘grand’ or societal challenges
Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are bacterial infections obtained as a result of clinical treatment e.g. following medical intervention. HAIs are a problem of tremendous proportion as more than 4 million EC citizens get infected annually. The ECDC estimates 147,000 HAI-related deaths in Europe each year, a large part stemming from wound infections. These alarming facts motivate the urgent need to develop novel medical devices.
Industrial Innovation (including innovation in services as well as products and processes)
To create medical devices that signal when an infection is present and thereby reduces the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics and hence the spread of antibiotic resistance.
Research-influenced changes in policy, agenda-setting
The provision of Improved Public Goods
The improved exercise of professional skill
Human capital development
To train next generation of European health research leaders, who will focus on critical challenges in healthcare, made more acute by an increasingly aging population and antibiotic resistance on an unprecedented scale.