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Breaking Bad Biofilms. Innovative Analysis and Design Rules for Next-Generation Antifouling Interfaces

Project description

Tackling bacterial biofilms

Bacteria have an inherent capacity to grow on surfaces in aggregates which are referred to as biofilms. These microbial communities are responsible for many hospital-acquired infections and are difficult to eradicate with disinfectants. To address this medical need, the EU-funded BREAK BIOFILMS project aims to train early-stage researchers to understand the process of biofilm formation and develop the next generation of biocides. Efforts will also focus on the development of methods for the fast detection and identification of biofilms as well as on ways to inhibit them. Collectively, the work is expected to find application in both industrial and biomedical fields.


Biofilms, i.e. communities of micro-organisms that attach and grow on a solid surface, cause about 80% of infections in humans and disinfectants rarely succeed in destroying them. They cost European economy billions of euro annually. The BREAK BIOFILMS Training Network aims to solve this issue by training the next generation leaders. They will understand the (bio)physicochemical mechanisms of biofilm formation, be able to produce technology for detecting and identifying biofilm formation with extreme sensitivity, and develop next generation biocides for preventing and destroying biofilms in industrial and biomedical areas. This integrated strategy from biofilm detection to destruction that builds on key innovations from the partner labs, is globally distinctive and promises significant progress. The network brings together world leaders in sensors, cell imaging, microbiology, interfacial engineering and nanoformulation from 6 universities, 9 companies, a research centre, and a Business and Innovation Centre. Thus, it is ideal to provide technical, industrial and business training to 15 ESRs and support the missions of the industry partners who will provide deep insights into the most pressing and impactful challenges. The graduates will be ideally placed to enter and support existing European industry across a number of different sectors (biomedical, food, antimicrobials). However, they will also be capable of creating new businesses thanks to a combination of in depth training in entrepreneurship and direct experience of establishing and running a virtual company as part of the training network. Beyond the trained researchers, this project will produce technologies that will enhance the productivity of European industry, create intellectual property with a strong probability of commercialization and improve the health and well-being of European citizens by minimizing infection rates and the inappropriate use of ineffective biocides that is leading to resistance.


Net EU contribution
€ 501 809,76
33003 OVIEDO

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Noroeste Principado de Asturias Asturias
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 501 809,76

Participants (7)

Partners (9)