Within the framework of an industrial doctorate, between the University of Jaen and Smart Materials 3D, it was proposed in 2020 to develop a joint project for the development of a virucidal material, as a result of COVID 19 and the different strains that emerged later, were the triggering of the development and research of an antiviral material. But the project goes much further, considering the past where different pandemics have also been experienced through the history. Therefore, it seeks to develop a material with broader characteristics that in addition to eliminating viruses and, failing that, bacteria on surfaces and it should be also a non-toxic material and as far as possible, biocompatible.
This project, directed by UJAEN by Dr. Daniel Carazo from the Department of Mechanical and Mining Engineering and Dr. María Dolores La Rubia Garca from the Department of Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering, in collaboration with Dr. María José Grande Burgos from the Department of Health Sciences and developed by Ing. Anyul Lopez Camacho began in the middle of 2020 and is expected to be completed by October 2023, hoping that the result of this study will be filaments composed of a polymer and an additive with virucidal potential for the 3D printing sector.
Having as support the extensive experience in the development of new materials of Smart Materials 3D, which has the R+D+i structure and the necessary technological capacity, with the development of SMARTFILA® PLA ANTIBACTERIAL, a filament made by the company, with bactericidal capabilities. This filament has been used in the manufacturing of 3d printed masks to respiratory valves. The project is currently in the phase of studying the viricidal effects of 5 types of materials with different dosages to determine which one is more effective, with the aim of complying with the demanding requirements for medical and health applications.
The raw materials to be used for the development of the research are: PLA (Polylactic Acid) as a polymeric matrix and various types of additives of metallic and non-metallic origin, with the percentage of addition optimized in each case; This research will primarily benefit the field of medicine in the production of screens, masks, alarm clocks, and valves, among other things, and due to its virucidal principle, it will be applicable to a variety of industries, including food, automotive, and industry, among others.
3D printing technology or FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), is revolutionizing traditional production systems, since it allows large-scale prototyping and production of personalized objects in local environments, thus reducing delivery times, energy costs and, consequently, environmental contamination by the transport sector, the expected result is one or several patents for subsequent commercialization and scientific dissemination.