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The pandemic period has demonstrated more clearly than ever how many health challenges there are. One of these is finding materials that can help limit the transmission of infectious diseases. The answer to this problem will be sought by the team of Agnieszka Krawczyńska, PhD, from the Faculty of Materials Engineering, WUT.

It should be pointed out that as much as 80 percent of infectious diseases are transmitted through touch contact. Meanwhile, the equipment commonly used in hospitals made of aluminum alloys and austenitic steel is only clean at first glance. As a matter of fact, it is in reality a place where bacteria and viruses accumulate, note the Warsaw University of Technology in a press release.

Original idea

“In the literature, antibacterial properties are mainly attributed to the chemical composition of metals and their alloys, and not to their microstructure elements” notes Agnieszka Krawczyńska, PhD. “However, there is no information on the impact of concentration of vacancies, density of dislocation (linear defect of structure), grain size and precipitation on the antibacterial properties of various materials present in everyday life.”

As part of the project carried out at the University of Technology, new solutions are to be found.

Research plans

“We want to optimize the microstructures of metallic materials to ensure the best antibacterial properties,” explained Krawczyńska, PhD, who will lead the team.

A new interdisciplinary research team will be set up to implement the project, supported by researchers from renowned foreign research units such as the University of Vienna and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf.

Help for everyone

“In a broader perspective, our results are expected to lead to the production of everyday materials with exceptional antibacterial properties,” says Krawczyńska, PhD.

This will help to stop the spread of bacteria and the transmission and development of diseases more effectively.

The project “Shaping the microstructure of metallic materials in order to improve their antibacterial properties” has received a grant in the competition of the National Science Center SONATA BIS 11.

Also interesting: New method for lithium measurement accelerates research on metal alloys

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