The cornerstone of the SENTINEL vision is bioactive paper that will detect, capture and deactivate water and airborne pathogens.
Current events including SARS, water quality problems, incidents of tainted beef and international terrorism underscore our vulnerability to biological hazards. For the last century, paper-based sterile packaging, food wrap, face masks and protective clothing have played an important role in protecting us from pathogens. These applications exploit paper qualities, which include low cost, disposability, sterility and well-defined porosity. Nevertheless, in most protective applications, paper functions simply as a passive barrier or filter.
In September 2005, 24 top Canadian professors and their students at 10 universities across Canada, in partnership with the Canadian government, the Ontario government and nine corporate partners worked together and formed the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network.