Topic of your interest

On-demand inactivation of microbial contamination in the dampening solution circuit of offset printing presses with 3D-printed, biodegradable hydrogels

Short name: On-demand inactivation

Fogra no. 32.175
Project leader: Dr P. Stolper
Partner: wfk – Cleaning Technology Institute e.V., Krefeld (Germany)
Funding: BMWi (IGF) via AiF
 

Timescale: 01.02.2021 - 31.01.2023

Objective and relevance

Printers have to bear high financial costs, as the fountain solution circuits of offset printing presses regularly require a great effort in terms of cleaning and maintenance to prevent the formation of biofilms. The contamination of dampening solution circuits is becoming increasingly critical due to the steady reduction in the use of isopropanol. In addition, the new classification of conventionally used biocides as hazardous substances by the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) leads to the fact that dampening solution additives now only contain small quantities of such substances.

These circumstances make it necessary to release antimicrobial substances in fountain solution circuits only in doses specifically tailored to requirements in order to prevent biofilm formation and minimise cost- and time-intensive cleaning work. The aim of this research project is to develop a carrier system with anchored antimicrobial substances that can be degraded by contamination and thus release the active substances.

Dr Philipp Stolper

Head of Materials & Environment

+49 89 431 82 - 354

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Your contact

I would be pleased to answer your questions about the project and look forward to exchanging ideas with you.

Solution steps

The following steps are necessary to achieve the targeted results of the research project:

  • Development of a 3D printed carrier structure that is biodegradable and has a sufficiently large surface area.

  • Development of the capsule structures and the necessary aptamers for release on contact with microbial contaminants.

  • Production of an active hydrogel

  • Testing of the developed structures in real dampening solution circuits

Targeted results

The research project involves the development of a hydrogel that can be degraded by microorganisms for the on-demand release of antimicrobial peptides in dampening solution circuits from readily available and inexpensive raw materials. The system consists of a novel, enzymatically degradable 3D-printed hydrogel network with embedded DNA-polyacrylamide microcapsules loaded with antimicrobial peptides.

The microcapsules prevent an uncontrolled release of these active ingredients into the dampening solution. In case of contamination with bacteria, the hydrogel is degraded, which leads to the opening of the capsules and the local release of the antimicrobial peptides as needed, thus inactivating microbial contamination.