Trial: Intrinsic antimicrobial textiles for reduction of hospital-acquired infections
Parent project: Novel Bio-based Anti-bacterial Textiles for Healthcare Applications (ITP/039/16TP)
In the completed project, we discovered that a new antimicrobial agent, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) oligomer, was identified by us, extracted from biologically fermented PHBV. Then an open-ring polymerization of β-butyrolactone was developed to obtain high-purity PHB oligomers of a few degrees of polymerization. Both extracted and synthesized PHB oligomers exhibit excellent antimicrobial properties. They were found to be effective against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most intractable pathogenic bacteria in hospitals, for at least 50 generations. The results of our research have guided a fiber producing company to successfully improve its manufacturing process of antimicrobial poly (hydroxybutyrate-co- hydroxyvalerate) and polylactide acid (PHBV/PLA) fibers in terms of the quality and consistency. Containing a sufficient amount of PHB oligomers, the bio-based PLA/PHBV fibers possess advantages of both natural and man-made antimicrobial fiber, i.e. biodegradable and eco-friendly property, as well as effective antimicrobial property. And using the bio-based PLA/PHBV continuous filaments and staple fibers, we developed green textile manufacturing technologies for textured yarns, knitted fabrics. The proposed project is to develop new quilt covers, bedsheets and pillowcases with natural anti-microbial properties, supreme smoothness and handle, and to conduct evaluation trials in the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals in addition to laboratory tests.
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