On October 31, Jean Rottner, President of the Grand Est Region, and Alain Strasser, Director of Aerial, announced the launch of the feerix project.
Many public and private actors were present in the premises of the Technology Resource Center on this occasion, testifying to the importance of the project for the territory.
We interviewed Alain Strasser.
BioValley France: Can you explain what the feerix project consists of?
Alain Strasser: feerix is an experimental irradiation station which completes Aerial’s resources in this field. The original configuration of this installation, with two beam lines, uses a high-energy and high-power Rhodotron electron accelerator (see image below). With feerix, Aerial now has an experimental platform for electron beam and X-ray irradiation, unique in the world. This considerably strengthens our R&D and training resources on ionization techniques and multisectoral applications and our international visibility.
BVF: What are the applications of ionization in the health field?
AS: There are many applications in the health field. Firstly, ionization is an effective sterilization technique that can be applied to both single-use medical devices and implantable devices (implants, prostheses, etc.). In addition, for materials used in the health field, irradiation allows, for example, to improve the mechanical properties of polymers (wear resistance…) but also to graft active principles.
BVF: With feerix, what are the concrete services that Aerial offers to the actors of the health sector?
AS: Our services in this field concern R&D, experimentation and training. We accompany companies, in particular those of the Nextmed campus, on the validation of the radiosterilization process. In the design phases of innovative medical devices, Aerial is also involved in the choice and validation of radiosterilizable materials as well as in the definition of optimal sterilization conditions. In a more general way, the beams available on feerix will allow to study any possibility of improving the properties of materials for health under radiation.
BVF: When will feerix be operational? Who should be contacted for a company project?
AS: feerix will be operational at the end of the first quarter of 2019. We encourage you to participate in the World Congress on Industrial Applications of Irradiation Techniques which will be held from April 1 to 5, 2019 at the PMC in Strasbourg. Our teams are now available to analyze the needs of companies and laboratories in this field.