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SolarSafe: Light-mediated self-sterilizing composite cellulosic materials

The growth of multiresistant organisms (MROs) and infections caused by them are a pressing problem in hospitals, especially during natural disasters or pandemics, where access to single-use sterile materials or personal protective equipment might be restricted. Therefore, the development of selfsterilizing, yet biodegradable, materials that do not rely on power supply are urgently needed. Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) is a powerful medical technology relying on the light-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species, which can be harnessed to inactivate various MRO. On this basis, SolarSafe aims to develop photoactive cellulosic materials, based on the preparation of composite films that merge the photoinactivation properties of organic photosensitizers and the mechanical properties and biodegradability of the cellulosic support. This project aims to set the knowledge for materials preparation to be further scaled up and commercially exploited.

Main results

  • Sustainable and upscalable production of dyes via new synthetic solid-state method

  • Conjugation of photosensitizers with nanocellulose and linkers were achieved and characterized

  • Photoactivity demonstrated, antibacterial activity under development

Research Project Managers

Eduardo Anaya, Aalto

Mauri Kostiainen, Aalto

Katariina Solin, VTT

Project status

Funded by FinnCERES 2021-2022.

The project has received funding from Magnus Ehrnrooth fundiation for Daniel Langerreiter, doctoral student at Aalto, to further develop sustainable synthesis of cellulose based self-sterilizing materials via solid-state reactions

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