EUREKA project E! 2709 BASTEX has developed new antibacterial additives which can be incorporated into polypropylene material to produce high-performance clothing. The outcome of this project has been so successful that results have been adapted to bed linen in hospitals and other healthcare establishments – creating an important growth in the market.
Protective clothing and sportswear needs to be tough and resilient to physical strain, so a fabric based on polypropylene is ideal. But unlike wool or cotton, polypropylene is not absorbent of sweat, so fabric made from it quickly becomes unpleasant to use. The participant in the BASTEX project worked on resolving this problem by selecting the optimum features for antibacterial additives and developing antibacterial-incorporated polypropylene fibres and textile materials based on these fibres.
Eliminating unpleasant odours
V-C is the Slovak Republic’s professional research institute for textile chemistry, textile and clothing manufacture. Its own role in the project was to develop selected types of antimicrobial additive, or biostat. Project coordinator Dr Jozef Šesták of V-C describes how it developed a new biostat with an inorganic base. “All additives previously used for this purpose had an organic chemical carrier, which has an unpleasant smell for the user and can give rise to environmental problems when the time comes for disposal. Our new antibacterial additives are a major improvement on existing antibacterials because they use inorganic carriers. The new biostat is much more acceptable to those who will wear the final protective clothing and avoids the environmental problems.”
Among the two Czech SMEs involved, Trevos Kostalov is specialised in polypropylene fibres for a wide range of uses; while Spolsin contributed with its experience in knitted fabrics for sportswear and textiles for work protective clothing. Trevos Kostalov developed new types of polypropylene fibres and refined the production process needed for incorporating the antibacterials. In order to develop fabrics suitable for larger-scale manufacture, it measured and determined the performance of biostatic fibres. The optimum concentration of additive was defined so that it would be effective as an antibacterial and maintain its hygienic potential and wearer comfort, while not affecting the mechanical and physical properties of the polypropylene fibres and the durability of the fabric.
Thanks to the success of this project, the antimicrobial biostat market is set to expand substantially, currently producing about 1 ton per year amounting to 35,000 euro annually. However, they have the capacity to produce 12 tons. Dr Šesták comments: “We are ready to sell in larger quantities but customers need time to get used to the idea of these new products.” According to V-C market research, up to 10% of sports and protective clothing products could eventually be offered with antimicrobial treatment. It would not have been possible without EUREKA. “Working as a EUREKA project has given us the major benefit of cooperation within an international team of researchers and manufacturers. We made a lot of new contacts and gained much experience in seeing the results of our research being applied in practice,” reveals Šesták.
Sally Horspool | alfa
New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution
21.09.2017 | Penn State
Stopping problem ice -- by cracking it
21.09.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy