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.
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. 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. Instead of using silver metals, they developed a new material called Silver-TCNQ nano-structure (Silver-tetra-cyano-quinodimethane) which releases these silver ions quite slowly so the antibacterial effect is long term. Ordinary fabric is dipped into a special solution to give it the desired antibacterial properties.
Potential applications of this fabric include band-aids and wound dressings, surgical gowns and bed sheets as means to reduce hospital-acquired infections.