The use of silver (Ag) nanoparticles as an antimicrobial solution has been widely disseminated and there are a number of products on the market that rely on this functionality for a variety of applications. Although some research has reported that metallic nanoparticles (NPs) may also have antiviral activity, the importance that was given to the antimicrobial part somehow masked the potential that they could present in reducing virus infections.
The promising results achieved with nanocomposite coatings containing Ag NPs have strongly encouraged the industrial promoter of this project, a national leader in decorative technical coatings, to start a development process to provide decorative solutions with both antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
The challenge of this project is to develop active coatings that provide the most varied surfaces - decorative pieces, functional components, utensils and devices - with antimicrobial properties in order to prevent the colonization of microorganisms (fungi, bacteria) and antiviral features that promote damage to the morphological structure of viruses by inhibiting their attachment to the host.
To strengthen research, technological development and innovation.
The objective of this project was to implement at industrial level protective coatings with anti-microbial/viral characteristics, of the nanocomposite type of Ag nanoparticles in a Me - (O,N) matrix (with Me - Ti or Zr) for various products, among which are taps and door handles. The target market will initially be customers who prioritize health issues over aesthetics, but will be progressively enlarged as the colors of the coatings can be optimized. In this way it will be possible to attract "more ordinary" consumers and diversify the range of products on offer, such as cutlery and jewelry.
• To study and understand the potentiality of already developed Ag-Me (C,O,N) coatings with anti-microbial properties to function as anti-viral agents;
• To deposit coatings with these anti-bacterial/viral characteristics at industrial scale while maintaining the desired functional properties, in particular with the (micro)structure optimized according to the laboratory deposition experience;
• Optimize the aesthetic appearance of these coatings by being able to obtain different colors.
• Decorative coatings simultaneously with antimicrobial and antiviral properties.