Ground-breaking fabric treatments to be developed

NWTexnet has been appointed to lead a new 2 year, £1 million research project aimed at developing anti-microbial textile coatings for use in the healthcare sector.

ACTIn (which stands for Antimicrobial Coatings for the Textile Industry) is a collaborative effort, supported by Innovate UK’s Newton Fund, between Mexican and UK companies and research institutes for the development of durable anti-microbial textiles for the healthcare industry. This is a strategically important area worldwide due to the significant economic and social impact of hospital acquired infections, which lead to extended stays in hospitals, higher healthcare costs, and thousands of deaths annually. Eight organisations, five from the UK and three from Mexico, make up the consortium involved in the project.

ACTIn builds on progress made during the successful CuVito project (an EU-Mexico collaboration funded by the European Commission’s FP7 programme and Mexico’s agency for the promotion of science and technology, CONACYT). ACTIn will develop novel copper-based and functionalised-silica based treatments for textiles. Innovative methods for incorporation of the active agents via inkjet printing and a patented ultrasound-assisted melt-mixing process for non-wovens will be used. The project aims to deliver high value-added products for the SMEs involved, which will help them introduce this novel technology to the healthcare industry, open the doors for further collaboration between the UK and Mexico and also offer long-term licensing opportunities.

Steve Kay, Managing Director of NWTexnet, said: “ACTIn is a challenging and exciting project with real potential to benefit not just the textiles sector but the public at large. A recent World Health Organisation report highlighted the severe and growing problem of Health Care Acquired Infections (HCAIs). ACTIn aims to play a role in reducing the impact of HCAIs on NHS budgets and, more importantly, in helping patients avoid these potentially fatal infections.”

Bolton, England – November 1st 2016.