Home Acabados técnicos ingles - finalizados PROTECT – Pre-commercial lines for production of surface nanostructured antimicrobial and antibiofilm textiles, medical devices and water treatment membranes

PROTECT – Pre-commercial lines for production of surface nanostructured antimicrobial and antibiofilm textiles, medical devices and water treatment membranes

I + D / Technical finishing, health, sports and environment

PROTECT – Pre-commercial lines for production of surface nanostructured antimicrobial and antibiofilm textiles, medical devices and water treatment membranes  

Years: 2017 -2021



Textile finishing processes provide not only colour and aesthetic performance to the fabrics (dyes, printing), but also interesting functionalities (liquid repellency, softness, UV protection, flame retardancy, antimicrobial effect, etc.). These functionalization processes by textile finishing are usually carried out by impregnation or coating techniques using water-based dispersions. For the specific case of antimicrobial finishes, there are several active compounds able to protect against bacteria, fungi and even viruses. In the case of antibacterial textile finishes, the most usual compounds are based on quaternary ammonium derivatives or silver (e.g. AgCl) and they are always applied on textile by wet finishing processes.

In PROTECT project, new antibacterial finishing and coating processes by sonochemical methods were considered. Alternative metallic-based precursors were used (e.g. copper o zinc salts) to generate metallic nanoparticles which are projected at high speed against the surface of the substrate to be coated. They are attached and linked to the surface (textile fibers and other polymeric substrates) with a great bonding force. By this way, the amount of the functional coating is easily controlled, also providing a significant durability against washing and wear/use. The coatings developed by the 3 sonochemical processes provide, in general terms, high antibacterial activity.



  • Establishment of three pre-commercial nanoparticle (NPs) coating lines for production of a large spectrum of 2D and 3D antimicrobial products.
  • Advanced low-cost, sustainable and safe coating processes and products featuring:
    • Single step product functionalization.
    • Low energy consumption.
    • Low amount of NPs used for coating.
    • Minor NPs release during product exploitation.
    • Low environmental footprint of processes and products.
    • Extended lifecycle of the coated products.
    • Low product cost due to the low energy consumption, minimal manpower required, and the recycling capability.
  • Novel highly efficient antimicrobial and anti-biofilm NPs – inorganic, organic, biological and hybrid.
  • In situ monitoring and control of NPs coating processes and products.
  • Shelf-life monitoring of the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm performance of the products based on smart indicators.
  • Implementation of safety by design approaches to control potential risks during NPs coating and product use.
  • New functional products with improved performance: antimicrobial textiles (for use in public areas and hospitals), antimicrobial/anti-biofilm water filtration membranes (WFM) and biocompatible antimicrobial/anti-biofilm medical devices.
  • Introducing a Labs Network (PLN) that will also include lab scale processes of the proposed technologies for training and knowledge dissemination.



  • After the main experiments performed along the project and characterization of some coated samples obtained with the 3 different pre-commercial lines, the general routes for manufacturing the different end-products considered in PROTECT have been established.
  • Each textile substrate, medical device (catheter) or WFM can be processed not only with the most suitable line for each end-product, but also having in mind the best chemicals and NPs to be used, as well as the performance and functional level required.
  • Antibacterial workwear fabrics (with a proven industrial washing resistance, at least, of 10 cycles at 60ºC) could be developed through the R2R sonochemical line using a Cu-based compound.
  • R2R spraying system would be suitable not only for several fabric types (flat fabrics, upholstery) but also for polyamide-based WFMs, using a Ti-based compound which provides a significant antibacterial performance, good bio-compatibility and low cytotoxicity, as well as a significant anti-biofilm effect on WFMs.
  • Ultrasound batch system has provided very good coating results, antibacterial performance and good bio-compatibility for silicone-based urinary catheters using a Zn-based compound and a processing time up to 30 minutes.
  • Threshold values of metal content for each coating system and end-application have also been established as a guide for further full industrialization purposes.


“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720851”.

Info and opinions in this website reflect only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained here.

Additional information

  • Years: 2017 – 2021

  • Status: Finished

  • Entity: European Union

  • Amount: 374.71,00 €

  • Link: http://protect-h2020.eu/
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