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Scientists in Australia develop bacteria-killing fabric

Last Updated: Monday, May 5, 2014 - 16:15

Melbourne: An antibacterial fabric with an ability to kill off two of the most infectious and lethal pathogens -E.Coli and Staphylococcus aureus - has been developed by researchers in Australia.

Both the pathogens were shown to die off within 10 minutes of contact with this newly created fabric, which utilises the antibacterial properties of silver, according to media reports.
The study was conducted by the Australia-based university RMIT in collaboration with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and a paper on the new material was recently published in the prestigious journal Advanced Functional Materials.

"It has been known for the last hundred years that silver is anti-bacterial," said Vipul Bansal, Associate Professor from RMIT University`s School of Applied Sciences.

"Silver metal, when it comes into contact with body fluids, releases silver ions and these ions are actually toxic and have anti-microbial and antibacterial properties," Bansal said.

"Instead of using silver metals, we developed a new material called silver TCNQ which releases these silver ions quite slowly so the antibacterial effect is long-term," he said.

"The new material is suited to use as a fabric coating and its potency has been found to survive multiple washes. We have shown that we can do up to one metre in one go with this simple immersion process," he added.

"We also took one of our old used T-shirts ... Dipped it into solution and the whole T-shirt became this material so it is quite an efficient process," Bansal said.

The T-shirt remains off-limits for use until testing confirms the material has no negative effect on human cells.

Potential applications of this fabric include bandaids and wound dressings, surgical gowns and bed sheets as means to reduce hospital-acquired infections.
Staphylococcus can cause a wide variety of diseases in humans and animals through either toxin production or penetration.

Staphylococcal toxins are a common cause of food poisoning, as they can be produced by bacteria growing in improperly stored food items.

Virulent strains of E. Coli can cause gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, and neonatal meningitis.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 - 16:15
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