Developing antimicrobial “smart surfaces” to tackle HCAI and AMR

I participated in a launch event by the Institute of Molecular Science and Engineering (IMSE) at Imperial College London yesterday for a new white paper on developing “smart surfaces” to tackle HCAI and AMR.

This video was produced for the launch, which is pretty cool:

After my Imperial colleague Dr Gerald Larrouy-Maumus set the scene, I did a talk on the potential application of antimicrobial “smart surfaces” in clinical settings to tackle HCAI and AMR (slides here). Through the process of writing the white paper, we identified four key potential application areas: touch surfaces, medical devices, indwelling prosthesis, and hospital plumbing systems (see Figure 1). These four application areas are at a very different stage of development. In the case of indwelling prosthesis, there’s a wide range of antimicrobial surfacing strategies in pre-clinical trial, clinical trial, and on the market. Whereas in the case of touch surfaces, some candidate options (most commonly copper) have been taken through to clinical trial, but adoption has been limited.

Figure 1: The four key application areas for antimicrobial “smart surfaces” in healthcare settings: touch surfaces, medical devices, indwelling prosthesis, and hospital plumbing systems.200303 IMSE launch applications AMSuThere was an interesting panel discussion during the launch event, touching on some of the challenges facing the development of this sort of technology. This included the need to consider a wide range of applications from the outset, the need to see antimicrobial surfaces as a part of the solution and not a “silver bullet”, consideration of low-and-middle-income settings, the idea of creating some sort of flexible platform technology, and perhaps most importantly, the need for multidisciplinary collaboration to tackle this.

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