Where Ideas grow

i3S project among The Best of Portuguese Technology

The AntiBioCoat project, led by i3S researcher Fabíola Costa, was recently awarded an honorable mention in the Innovation category of the awards "O Melhor do Portugal Tecnológico", an initiative of the magazine Exame Informática that annually lists projects and companies that make a difference through their ideas in science and technology.

 

According to Exame Informática's editorial team, AntiBioCoat was honored because "it is extremely pertinent to combine several areas of knowledge to create a technology that helps combat one of the biggest scourges in the hospital environment (infections) and that entails so many costs and materials for health systems".

 

For i3S researchers Fabíola Costa and Rita Mota, who joined forces to develop this project, the distinction of Exame Informática magazine "more than a prize means a social recognition of the importance of the work they have been developing in recent years".

 

 

AntiBioCoat is a very efficient repellent coating against a broad spectrum of bacteria designed to reduce the incidence of medical device-related infections. This coating is being developed to be initially applied to urinary catheters. As the researcher Fabíola Costa explains, "this coating is highly efficient without the introduction of antibiotics or biocides, distinguishing itself from existing treatments because it does not promote toxicity or the emergence of resistance to antibiotics". The coating is based on a unique natural polymer, which emerged from the research of another i3S researcher, Rita Mota.

 

Infections associated with medical care are especially related to the application of catheters. These infections contribute to the suffering of the patient, aggravating their health prognosis, increasing drug use and prolonging hospital admission, which overwhelms healthcare systems around the world with billions of euros in unplanned medical care. Currently, these infections are being combated through preventive measures and the use of antibiotics. "Aging populations and increasing resistance to antibiotics make it urgent to find new strategies to reduce infections during medical care", the researchers point out.