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Mother Nature's Antibacterial Dyes: Bright Colors And A Knockout Punch For Germs

Date:
June 4, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A strain of marine bacteria produces large amounts of bright red pigments that can be used as a natural dye for wool, nylon, silk and other fabrics, scientists in California are reporting. The dyes from Mother Nature's palate also have an anti-bacterial effect that could discourage harmful bacteria from growing on socks, undergarments, and other clothing, they report in a new study.

A strain of marine bacteria produces large amounts of bright red pigments that can be used as a natural dye for wool, nylon, silk and other fabrics, scientists in California are reporting. The dyes from Mother Nature's palate also have an anti-bacterial effect that could discourage harmful bacteria from growing on socks, undergarments, and other clothing, they report in a new study. 

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In the new research, graduate student Farzaneh Alihosseini, her adviser Gang Sun and colleagues point out that conventional dyes and pigments used in clothing have several drawbacks. Many are made from non-renewable resources such as petroleum, and are potentially harmful to the environment and human health. In addition, concerns exist about the potential toxicity of existing antibacterial-fabric coatings.

The researchers found that a certain strain of bacteria isolated from marine sediments produces large quantities of bright red pigments called prodiginines that can be used to dye clothing. In laboratory tests, the pigments worked on wool, silk, nylon, and acrylic fabrics as efficiently and effectively as some conventional dyes. The pigments showed strong antibacterial activity against harmful bacteria, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, when applied to most of the fabrics tested.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alihosseini et al. Antibacterial Colorants: Characterization of Prodiginines and Their Applications on Textile Materials. Biotechnology Progress, 2008; 0 (0): 0 DOI: 10.1021/bp070481r

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Mother Nature's Antibacterial Dyes: Bright Colors And A Knockout Punch For Germs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602091038.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, June 4). Mother Nature's Antibacterial Dyes: Bright Colors And A Knockout Punch For Germs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602091038.htm
American Chemical Society. "Mother Nature's Antibacterial Dyes: Bright Colors And A Knockout Punch For Germs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602091038.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

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