Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The end of the road for pathogens

14.01.2014
Scientists prove benefit of textiles with antiviral and antibacterial effect

As part of an AiF research project (AiF no. N 17407), scientists from the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim (Germany) have, for the first time, developed a textile finishing with both an antiviral and an antibacterial function. This technology can be used for products in nurseries, child day care centres and hospitals to interrupt chains of infection.


Colour differences in cleaning cloths made of microfibres before and after finishing with copper pigments. ©Hohenstein Institute


Laboratory test under realistic conditions with cleaning cloths for the inactivation of viruses, bacteria and moulds on surfaces. ©Hohenstein Institute

Most infection-induced respiratory problems are caused by viruses. For example, the respiratory syncytial virus, a pathogen belonging to the family of paramyxoviruses, can cause infections of the upper respiratory tract in the form of colds, coughs, acute bronchitis or even pneumonia, particularly in small children.

At the start of winter, the rate of infections in child day care centres and nurseries regularly increases. Diarrhoea caused by noroviruses and rotaviruses as well as bacterial infections of the respiratory tract and the alimentary tract, on the other hand, are "in season" all year round.

To avoid droplet and smear infections as far as possible, hygienic hands, textiles and surfaces are of paramount importance.

The essential factor in avoiding or limiting the spread of disease in childcare facilities is regular and thorough hand-washing, by children and their carers.

However, textiles can also play a part in spreading pathogens. Viruses do not have their own metabolism and can therefore only survive for a limited time outside a host, and unlike bacteria, do not multiply there.

However, as studies have impressively documented, textiles that are in regular contact with hands have been proven to contribute to the spread of viruses (Sauver et al., 1998). In a scientific examination, clothes as well as domestic and hospital textiles in the form of bed linen, towels, kitchen towels and so on are, alongside hands, an important potential transmission route for viruses.

Surfaces of all kinds, which can also be contaminated by viruses and bacteria via the hands or air, are the third key transmission route for viruses. One important element in preventing infection is therefore the cleaning of surfaces. The Hohenstein scientists are investigating these factors in their current research project.

The test design included cleaning cloths in which, for the first time, antiviral and antibacterial effectiveness were combined with each other in one functional textile finishing. "Over the long term, we are interested in finding out whether the risk of infection, that is to say the spread of germs from person to person, can be reduced by using biofunctional textiles in the future," says Prof. Höfer, head of the hygiene, environment and medicine department.

To achieve this goal, various organic and inorganic colloidal or nanoparticle copper compounds and copper complexes were first applied in a sol-gel process. The effectiveness of the textile microfibre substrate was optimised using various application techniques such as foulard or spray methods. The inactivation of the test viruses was significant, was retained over 15 washing cycles and was at the same time abrasion-resistant.

A second alternative antiviral finish of microfibre cloths was achieved by finishing with copper pigments in a high-temperature exhaust process. In a similar way to dying with dispersion dyes, the dispersed copper pigments were incorporated in the fibres in a slightly acid environment. In a second step, fixing was carried out using a polymer binding agent in a cold padding process to protect the copper particles against mechanical abrasion. These copper finishes also produced good evenness, but there was a slight green tone compared to the originally lighter fabric colour. All samples passed the laboratory tests on skin-friendliness.

The effectiveness tests under realistic conditions were carried out on different surfaces, such as glass, stainless steel or wood, which were contaminated with viruses and wiped with the finished cleaning cloths. The bacterial virus MS2, a non-pathogenic surrogate virus, which due to its structure and environmental stability is comparable to clinically relevant viruses such as novovirus, poliovirus, hepatitis A or enteroviruses, was used as the test virus. The finished microfibre cloths absorbed 91 % of the applied viruses. At the same time, the virus concentration in the cloth was reduced by approximately 90 %. Effectiveness tests against bacteria and mould were also carried out in accordance with standards (DIN EN ISO 20743 and EN 14119). With this test set-up, the finishes were optimised in a targeted manner.

The research project reveals that antiviral cleaning cloths provide an efficient hygienic effect and can help to reduce the germ transfer rate e.g. of pathogens in nurseries and child day care centres. However, this new functionalisation could be of interest in the domestic environment, in hospitals, old people's homes, care homes and in communal facilities (e.g. canteens) and in protective clothing for the fire brigade, emergency services and military.

Rose-Marie Riedl | idw
Further information:
http://www.hohenstein.de

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Serendipity uncovers borophene's potential
23.02.2017 | Northwestern University

nachricht Switched-on DNA
20.02.2017 | Arizona State University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>