A research team composed of the Institut für Konstruktives Entwerfen, Industrie- und Gesundheitsbau IKE (engl.: institute for structural design, industrial and healthcare construction, IKE) from the TU Braunschweig, the Städtisches Klinikum (municipal hospital) Braunschweig and the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST has developed a demonstrator for a two-bed patient room which is now being transferred to a new application-oriented research and study laboratory. The paramount goal is the continuous development of innovative, practicable construction-technical sample solutions, smart materials and surfaces as well as future-oriented equipment elements and products as regards infection prevention and cleaning. Process analyses are also included in this context.
Analysis, adaptation and optimization of surfaces as well as the utilization and development of new sustainable materials are pivotal starting points for preventing the transmission of germs in hospitals and for protecting patients against infections. Here at the Fraunhofer IST, we pursue a holistic approach in which we, for example, identify hotspots and employ digital methods in order to develop and adapt efficient environmentally friendly cleaning processes. Through automation and the integration of modern sensor technology, workflows and processes can be structured more effectively and economically and the personnel workload can be reduced.
An important research focus is the development of multifunctional surfaces for medical technology which allow, for example, the control of the adhesion of cells and microorganisms. In addition to the development of anti-microbial coatings and easy-to-clean surfaces on a diverse range of materials and geometries, the focus is also on system solutions for electrochemical or plasma-based cleaning and disinfection. Furthermore, we are working on solutions for air purification and simulation as well as data acquisition and digitalization in all aspects of the patient bed. Together with the TU Braunschweig and the Städtisches Klinikum Braunschweig, we are helping to prevent infections and to improve the course of illnesses in the patient room of the future. At the core is the testing of innovations with high practical relevance for the protection of particularly vulnerable people undergoing outpatient or inpatient treatment.