Colorifix is thrilled to confirm that it has secured funding from the latest round of Innovate UK to work alongside the University of Cambridge to develop anti-COVID-19 photoactive and light-independent dyes by pigment-producing microorganisms.
Colorifix has pioneered the production, deposition and fixation of natural pigments on diverse types of fabrics and externally validated their antimicrobial properties against pathogens common in hospital settings. Some of these pigments are also known to possess antiviral activity. Using the support from this grant, Colorifix & Cambridge aim to produce the next generation of safe, sustainable and effective natural antiviral dyes to support the fight against COVID-19.
Neil Williamson, Head of Microbial Engineering at Colorifix, commented: “Colorifix is excited to be using its technology with the groups of Professor Ian Goodfellow and Dr Ljiljana Fruk from the University of Cambridge to develop unique multimodal antiviral dyes to support the fight against COVID-19”.
Ljiljana Fruk, Head of the BioNano Engineering group at University of Cambridge Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology said: “Not only will Colorifix’s strategy result in sustainable production of plant-inspired pigments and dyed fabrics friendly to the skin, but we are hoping to develop materials which have multiple modes of action against SARS COV-2, both in the dark and under irradiation. It is an exciting synergy of microbiology, material science and nanotechnology.”
Colorifix has strong relationships with international fashion brands, mills and dye houses. This includes partnering with Seam Factories, a Portuguese textile manufacturer that specialises in the development and production of sustainable clothing. Since COVID-19, Seam factories has begun production of PPE and is exploring the production possibilities of an antiviral fabric with Colorifix technologies.
The project is supported by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.
Colorifix is a biotechnology company that has pioneered the first entirely biological process to produce, deposit and fix pigments onto textiles. Using a synthetic biology approach, it offers a radically different solution to incumbent dyeing technologies that entirely cuts out the use of harsh chemistry and leads to huge reductions in water consumption. Colorifix’s investors include Cambridge Enterprise, H&M, Primera Impact and Sagana, whose collective backing is funding its expansion.
For more information, visit www.colorifix.com
About the University of Cambridge
Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge’s mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. The University of Cambridge sits at the heart of one of the world’s largest technology clusters, one which has created 1,500 high-tech companies, 14 of them valued at over £800 million (US$1 billion) and two at over £8 billion (US$10 billion). Cambridge promotes the interface between academia and business, and has a global reputation for innovation.