The objectives of this cooperative research project are to evaluate: (1) anti-microbial/keep clean coating materials on a variety of surfaces and under a variety of test conditions for their ability to control microbia growth/inactive bacteria and prevent biofilm formation; (2) the synergistic anti-microbial effects of various coating materials; (3) technical solutions to current obstacles to widespread commercial end use of the coated materials by industries, including the food industry on food and non-food-contact surfaces. <P>
The collaborative studies will lead to the development of coated materials that can potentially be used by the food industry and the consumer to prevent the growth of pathogens and biofilm formation on food and non-food-contact surfaces.
Coating systems will be developed for food contact and non-food-contact surfaces that will provide protection against microbial contamination. The proposed work will draw on complementary activities of microbial adhesion and the anti-microbial mechanisms of materials, including silver ion-exchanged glass, silver, copper, and other heavy metal zeolite matrices, or other materials, which are known to be safe for human contact and effective against a broad spectrum of microorganisms. PPG has commercialized a similar technology utilizing TiO2 coatings in the form of the residential glass product SunCleanTM self-cleaning glass. An immediate need exists for the quantification of the antimicrobial efficacy of these materials to provide data needed to focus continued development on the most promising technologies and applications, including use by the food industry. <P>
Future activities will concentrate on optimizing and demonstrating the microbial cleaning characteristics of coating compositions for specific commercial applications involving multiple substrates, including glass, metals, ceramics, polymers, and painted surfaces.