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BIOfilm management and CLEANing by leveraging fundamental understanding of biological, chemical and physical combined approaches

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BIOCLEAN (BIOfilm management and CLEANing by leveraging fundamental understanding of biological, chemical and physical combined approaches)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2018-09-30

BIOfilm management and CLEANing by leveraging fundamental understanding of biological, chemical and physical combined approaches


BIOCLEAN is a Horizon2020 Marie Curie funded project worth € 3.9 MM led by P&G, in partnership with 10 universities and 15 Ph.D. students. BIOCLEAN aims to develop mechanistic understanding into achieving deep down and long lasting clean surfaces via surface modification and photocatalytic approaches. In parallel, research is also being carried out to develop novel naturally derived polymers technologies for malodour control and polymer brushes for soil repellence. The project is also working on developing cutting edge visualization techniques such as 4D Micro CT, MRI, SAXS and surface measurement techniques such a Micromanipulation for studying impact of surface and bulk chemistry on adhesive and cohesive forces in biofilms. Learnings from this research project will feed into various industrial applications

Objectives
These are the research objectives of BioClean:

To characterise biofilms by developing new methodologies for studying adhesion and cohesion of biofilms (chemically and physically) including cell-to-cell and cell-to-surface forces.
Iteratively apply data from the first objective to understand the relationship between properties of existing and novel surface and deposition of molecules promoting bacterial attachment and detachment.
To characterise changes in bacterial cells and biofilm from inside and out, chemically, physically and structurally in response to the approaches being investigated. This will advance understanding of biofilm management.
Integration of current real life industrial knowledge to and use of outputs from the previous objectives. This will develop real life applications for controlling/ managing biofilms and their introduction in an optimal way in industry/societal relevant environments and substrates.
Create a lasting network of combined chemistry, biology, engineering experts in biofilm management that will expose the ESRs and their individual project research findings to a broad geographical, cross discipline and cross-sectoral audience. Through the successful implementation of this network, new research findings will be integrated into the current knowledge base.
BIOCLEAN is developing mechanistic understanding into achieving deep down and long lasting clean surfaces with products via surface modification and photocatalytic approaches. This also includes chemically modifying naturally derived polyphenol polymers technologies for malodour control and designing polymer brushes for soil repellency. Key to deliver these is the development of cutting edge (a) visualization techniques such as 4D Micro CT and MRI, (b) multi-scale characterisation of bacterial cells via scattering techniques, (c) surface and interfacial characterisation (XPS, streaming potential, surface plasmon resonance), (d) biofilm characterisation (chemical composition via ATR/FTIR and confocal Raman), (e) identification of LED light with optimum wavelength for preventing bacterial growth and (f) designing model substrate with the right topography and surface energy. Learnings from this research project feed into multiple P&G Business Unit (BU) projects across European research centres and being presented in international symposia
To date, Bioclean has developed novel capabilities including (a) 4D micro-CT to visualise in real time removal of model organic soil from a porous substrate, (b) ATR/FTIR to determine the first layer of adhesin deposited by bacterial cells prior to attachment, (c) streaming potential to identify the best polymers for soil repellency and (d) combined SEM + XPS +SPR techniques to understand the structure to function relationship of the polymer film on flat surfaces. To develop model substrates, patterns with feature sizes ranging from hundreds of nm to hundreds of m can now be prepared consistently via “surface wrinkling”. Plasma treatment of the wrinkled surfaces is ongoing to achieve the right surface energies. Novel tannins have been chemically modified and characterized and they are now being screened for their anti-oxidant properties. Polymers that can potentially form coacervate at solid-liquid interfaces have been identified and currently being characterized via reflectometry, scattering and other surface techniques to determine how the coacervate can be assembled and disassembled using various trigger mechanisms for soil release. Ultimately, it is hoped that all the knowledge generated through Bioclean will provide better sustainable solutions (lower water consumption, low temperature wash, longer lasting garments) to hygienic cleaning without using chemicals that generally leads to chemically-resistant microorganisms.