About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Antibacterial-coated Hospital Uniforms may Prevent Infectious Outbreaks

by Rishika Gupta on February 16, 2018 at 11:07 AM
Font : A-A+

 Antibacterial-coated Hospital Uniforms may Prevent Infectious Outbreaks

Doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals may soon be wearing anti-bacterial Hospital uniforms brushed with tiny copper nanoparticles finds a new study. This measure has been taken to reduce the spread of bacterial infections and viruses, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), at hospitals.

The findings of this study are published in the Journal of Nanomaterials.

Advertisement


Material scientists at The University of Manchester, working in collaboration with universities in China, have created a 'durable and washable, concrete-like' composite material made from antibacterial copper nanoparticles.

They have also developed a way of binding the composite to wearable materials such as cotton and polyester, which has proved a stumbling block for scientists in the past.
Advertisement

Bacterial infection is a major issue in hospitals across the UK and has been rising due to its spread on surfaces and clothing. E. coli infections alone killed more than 5,500 NHS patients in 2015 and Government estimates put the cost of such infections to the NHS at Ģ2.3 billion this year alone.

Precious metals, such as gold and silver, have excellent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, but their commercial use in textiles is prohibitive due to extremely high costs. That means copper is the material of choice for researchers as it has very similar antibacterial properties to gold and silver but is much cheaper. That's why material chemists are focussing their attentions on exploring the possibility of using copper as the ultimate antimicrobial agent.

However, prior to this breakthrough, techniques for binding copper to materials like cotton for medical and antimicrobial textile production had limitations. Now, using a process called 'Polymer Surface Grafting', the research team has tethered copper nanoparticles to cotton and polyester using a polymer brush, creating a strong chemical bond. The researchers say it is this bond which has led to excellent washable properties and durability. These developments could finally see copper-covered uniforms and textiles commercialised in the future.

Lead author, Dr Xuqing Liu, from the School of Materials, said: "Now that our composite materials present excellent antibacterial properties and durability, it has huge potential for modern medical and healthcare applications."

The researchers tested their copper nanoparticles on cotton as it is used more widely than any other natural fibre and polyester as it is a typical polymeric, manmade material. Each material was brushed with the tiny copper nanoparticles which measure between 1-100 nanometres (nm). 100nm is the equivalent to just 0.0001 millimetres (mm).

The team found their cotton and polyester coated-copper fabrics showed excellent antibacterial resistance against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and E. coli, even after being washed 30 times. When compared with the traditional process of copper coating the polymer brush technique developed at the University is far more effective.

Dr Liu said: "These results are very positive and some companies are already showing interest in developing this technology. We hope we can commercialise the advanced technology within a couple of years. We have now started to work on reducing cost and making the process even simpler."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Cochlear Implants may Consequently Drive Hearing Loss
E-cigarettes Use Linked to Erectile Dysfunction
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Copper Cuts Hospital Infections
Antimicrobial copper was found to reduce 58 percent of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) within ...
While Deaths Declined Hospital Infections in Cancer Patients Have Climbed: Study
Henry Ford Hospital researchers have found that while infections during hospital stays increased ......
Secrets Behind Hospital Infections Revealed
Scientists have unraveled the mechanism by which Pseudomonas aeruginosa - a bacteria responsible ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use