Aston University partners with John Desmond Limited to develop antimicrobial surfaces to prevent spread of infection.

The Company

John Desmond Ltd (JDL) is a designer, fabricator and installer of specialist architectural ironmongery and metalwork skilled in exceptionally high standards of architectural detailing. JDL has commercially applied aesthetic architectural finishes onto steel and aluminium construction panels by Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), to incorporate gold/bronze-like effects.

The Challenge

The company is looking to develop an effective, evidenced antimicrobial coating to for use in communal areas on products such as handrails, balustrades, push plates, door handles, faceplates – all of which are common in high traffic areas such as hospitals, doctors surgeries, dental practices, schools and transportation hubs. While JDL has over 50 years’ experience of developing aesthetic metal finishes, it lacks the required in-house expertise in antimicrobial testing for the development of biocidal coatings and the knowledge of how to perform extensive testing of the developed coating’s efficacy, expected lifespan and performance.

The Solution

Microbiologists from Aston University’s College of Health and Life Sciences and materials scientists from the College of Engineering and Physical Science will establish the effectiveness of the antimicrobial coatings against a panel of bacteria under a range of conditions to further optimise the surface performance. The team will support JDL to establish an in-house microbiology laboratory to enable extensive testing of the developed coatings under lab conditions. 

Team Aston

Aston’s academic team consists of Dr Tony Worthington, Associate Professor in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease, and Professor Anthony Hilton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences of Aston University.

“I’m delighted to be able to work on this exciting project with John Desmond Limited, bringing together a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers from across Aston University to work with an industry partner. Knowledge exchange between academia and industry is a core element of Aston’s strategy and it is exciting to be part of a team developing a product which has the potential to have real impact in preventing and controlling infection.” Professor Anthony Hilton.

Next steps

The KTP is expected to complete in 2021 – look out for more updates by following us on Twitter and checking our webpage

For more information about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships or an informal chat, email or call 0121 204 4242.