Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eco-safe antibacterial fiber discovered

Date:
February 14, 2013
Source:
KTH The Royal Institute of Technology
Summary:
Researchers have discovered an antibacterial polymer that can be used in everyday products such as sportswear, diapers and bandages, without causing resistant bacteria.

"We got around the problem of resistant bacteria by creating an antibacterial surface in which polymer binds with cellulose," says KTH chemistry researcher Josefin Illergård.
Credit: Image courtesy of KTH The Royal Institute of Technology

Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have discovered an antibacterial polymer that can be used in everyday products such as sportswear, diapers and bandages, without causing resistant bacteria.

Related Articles


"We have managed to find an antibacterial polymer that attaches stably to cellulose and therefore cannot be released into the environment," says Josefin Illergård, a chemistry researcher at KTH.

The discovery could be an important breakthrough in the search for environmentally-friendly ways to control bacteria while preventing antibiotic resistance and resistant bacteria.

Illergård says the team's discovery is based on cellulose fibres embedded in a polymer, which kills bacteria. Cellulose is the most common organic substance in nature and the primary structural component of plant cell walls. The active polymer is so strongly bonded to the fibres of the cellulose material that it does not loosen or leak into the environment via water.

Antibacterial agents such as triclosan and silver ions are commonly used in sportswear and shoes to remove unpleasant odors from bacteria formation. But such biocides leak into the environment when the treated garments or surfaces are washed, raising the risk that bacteria will gradually become resistant to their effect.

"If someone uses a cloth to wipe a countertop treated with antibacterial agents, and that cloth is rinsed in the sink, those substances are then spread further through the drain and into the environment where they can contaminate soil and water and give rise to bacterial resistance," Illergård says.

She says that bacteria must come in direct contact with the material for the antibacterial process to work.

Because polymer has a positive charge and bacteria a negative charge, the new material actually attracts bacteria, she says. The material does not contain large amounts of polymer; and only non-toxic nitrogen oxides remain after it is burned. Nevertheless, the team's goal for the future is to continue the research and try to replace the antibacterial polymer with an entirely renewable material.

"We know that this project is of international interest," Illergård says. "Our papers have been requested by companies abroad and we are getting a lot of feedback when we present our findings at conferences.

"In the future, I believe our material will be used in cleaning clothes, in sanitation for hospitals and in different kinds of water purification filters," she says.

Illergård says the material could be ideal for simple water treatment in the future. "What if water could be purified in an environmentally friendly manner by our material, instead of just strainers?" she asks. "Many lives would be saved, and the material could be placed directly on the fire and burned after use."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by KTH The Royal Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

KTH The Royal Institute of Technology. "Eco-safe antibacterial fiber discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214075447.htm>.
KTH The Royal Institute of Technology. (2013, February 14). Eco-safe antibacterial fiber discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214075447.htm
KTH The Royal Institute of Technology. "Eco-safe antibacterial fiber discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214075447.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins