A team of Pakistani scientists succeeded to develop a low-cost antibacterial fabric that can be utilized in wound dressing, lab coats, masks, and different types of packaging materials.
The team under the supervision of Saadat Majeed, Associate Professor-Division of Analytical Chemistry at the Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan, tested the environment-friendly Chitosan and silver nanoparticles modified fabric for four common types of bacteria.
The fabric was very much effective in averting microbial contagion. The investigation appeared in Nature, a prestigious science journal.
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To carry out the research, the team took the normal fabric and treated it with alkali, which produced the active sites in the fabric for modification. Afterward, they soaked the fabric piece in silver nanoparticles and Chitosan – a sort of sugar from crabs and lobsters – which layered the low-cost fabric with an additional invisible layer.
“This coating has active antimicrobial properties and kills the bacterial strains immediately upon contact,” one of the researchers told the media, continuing that many other procedures comprise toxic chemicals or expensive equipment, but this technique is comparatively easy and affordable. “All we need is a beaker and cost-effective material for modifications,” she added.
Moreover, Mr. Majoeed said that Chitosan is a biomaterial used for several biomedical applications like antibacterial activities. It has excellent biodegradability and biocompatibility.
Silver nanoparticles, he added, are one of the emerging materials in scientific research and development.
The layer of these two elements in the fabric permits protection against microbes with minimal cytotoxicity and synergistically.
In order to check the antimicrobial properties, the researchers loaded the low-cost fabric with four common types of microbes, namely Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Micrococcus luteus, and E.coli, responsible for infections, hospital contamination, pneumonia, and diarrhea respectively with other diseases.
Furthermore, the fabric treatment method is a great achievement of teamwork of different institutes and professors from diverse disciplines. It was a joint collective effort of Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Nishtar Medical University, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, Govt. College University Faisalabad, Karachi University, and Abasyn University, Islamabad Campus.