Researchers develop antimicrobial textiles

29 November 2023 09:41

Greater Geneva BernSt.GallenBodensee

St.Gallen/Spiez - Researchers from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Spiez Laboratory in the canton of Bern, the chemical company BASF and the Technical University of Berlin have developed textiles with antimicrobial properties. The innovation could be used for antimicrobial curtains in hospitals.

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), Spiez Laboratory, the chemical company BASF and the Technical University of Berlin have together developed new textiles that have an antimicrobial effect. The textiles can be treated with a special coating that kills or inhibits the growth of bacterial and viral pathogens, according to a statement. In hospitals, the impregnated textiles could be used as antimicrobial curtains between patient beds.

“We were looking for a process that reliably prevents germs from contaminating textiles that come into contact with a large number of people during use,” explains Peter Wick, a professor at Empa's Particles-Biology Interactions laboratory in St.Gallen, in the statement. During the coating process, a benzalkonium chloride-containing disinfectant is evenly applied to hospital curtains. "The hospital germs were significantly reduced or even killed after just ten minutes of exposure,” continues the Empa researcher. 

The coating was also active against viral pathogens: Over 99 per cent of the viruses were killed by the coated fabric samples. Another advantage is that the coatings remained effective even after several months of storage. ce/ww

Swiss Pavilion Digital

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