Every year, bacterial growth on medical devices causes a large number of infections. This leads to suffering for millions of patients and large expenses for the health care system. Together with Chalmers University and Wellspect HealthCare, we are now developing an antibacterial surface for medical devices with potential to minimize the damage caused by health-related infections.
Health-related infections affect about four million European patients every year. The vast majority of these infections can be linked to the use of medical devices and implants that provide a platform for bacteria to grow. The infections have to be treated with antibiotics, which increases the risk of the developing antibiotic resistance. To minimize that risk, to reduce suffering for patients and to cut the € 7 billion in cost that these infections come with, Wellspect HealthCare and Chalmers University are investigating an effective and affordable antibacterial surface for medical devices. 2D fab’s graphene has a key role in this project due to its unique characteristics.
The project, which is funded by SIO Graphene, is a follow-up on an earlier collaboration. The last project showed that upright graphene flakes effectively prevents bacterial colonialization, since the flakes harm the bacteria’s membrane, killing it before it attaches to the substrate. The previous project also demonstrated that this method has potential to work against most bacterial types. Also, it only affects the bacteria’s attempt to colonize the surface, so no new development of resistance is induced.
The goal of this project is to improve the production method and develop the process so that it can be used in medical devices, and thereby reduce the risk of health-related infections.