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Killer Kevlar: Clothing That Shields From Germs

Date:
July 21, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Protective clothing worn by firemen and other emergency workers may soon get a germ-fighting upgrade. Researchers in South Dakota report progress toward the first Kevlar fabrics that can kill a wide range of infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, and the spores that cause anthrax.

Researchers have developed a process to coat Kevlar with germ-fighting agents, including antibacterial and antiviral substances. Above is coated Kevlar fabric exposed to a fungus called Candida tropicalis.
Credit: Courtesy of the American Chemical Society

Protective clothing worn by firemen and other emergency workers may soon get a germ-fighting upgrade. Researchers in South Dakota report progress toward the first Kevlar fabrics that can kill a wide range of infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, and the spores that cause anthrax.

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In the new study, Yuyu Sun and Jie Luo point out that Kevlar fabrics are widely used as fire-resistant materials for firefighters, police and emergency medical workers. But amid increased threats of bioterrorism, there's a growing need for new protective clothing that can also provide multiple protection against a wide variety of dangerous microorganisms.

The scientists developed a special process to coat Kevlar samples with acyclic N-Halamine, a potent germ-fighting substance. They then exposed coated and uncoated fabric samples to E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida tropicalis (a fungus), MS2 virus, and Bacillus subtilis spores (to mimic anthrax).

After a short time, large amounts of microorganisms stuck to untreated fabric samples, but the coated fabrics showed little to no adherence of the infectious agents, the researchers say. The coating is long-lasting, can be reactivated, and does not cause any loss of fabric comfort or strength, they add.


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. Luo et al. Acyclic N-Halamine Coated Kevlar Fabric Materials: Preparation and Biocidal Functions. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2008; 0 (0): 0 DOI: 10.1021/ie800021p

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Killer Kevlar: Clothing That Shields From Germs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080721092412.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, July 21). Killer Kevlar: Clothing That Shields From Germs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080721092412.htm
American Chemical Society. "Killer Kevlar: Clothing That Shields From Germs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080721092412.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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