This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project shows great intellectual merit. The antimicrobial properties of copper-based alloys continue to be a topic of research interest, and there are no current publications detailing the mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, and anti-microbial characteristics of copper-based alloy bi-layers. Pending a successful Phase I research program, high wear and corrosion-resistant copper alloys in the form of copper-based alloys will be evaluated. The broader impacts of this project are manifold. An inherently anti- bacterial coating for hospital applications has wide-ranging effects on degree of health care and mitigation of costs incurred through infection associated with hospital practice. Common examples include: infections from biomedical implants, degradation of protective coatings on buildings, fouling of food products, loss of efficacy of pharmaceutical formulations, and many more. A growing body of health literature is promoting the use of copper-based alloys for consumer applications, and copper alloy coatings on conventional steel substrates will prove viable, low cost alternatives to the current copper alloys in structural applications. MesoCoat is commercializing its CermaClad" high rate cladding process for the oil and gas and infrastructure industries, and this program will explore the extension of this technology into the antimicrobial surfaces (medical devices and indoor air quality) industry verticals via copper- cladding of steel substrates.
An inherently anti-bacterial coating for hospital applications developed through this Phase I program has wide-ranging effects on degree of health care and mitigation of costs incurred through infection associated with hospital practice. In addition to hospitals, these coatings could also be applied to other public areas such as airports, bus stations, railway stations, schools, restaurants, work places, etc. Thus this research would have a significant impact on public health by improving health related quality of life by preventing or delaying the onset of disease.