Novel bio-based antimicrobial textiles for healthcare applications

Based on our recent discovery of anti-bacterial fibers that are 100% bio-based and fully degradable, this project aims to explore technologies for utilization of the fibers, yarns and fabrics for new wound dressings, shoe uppers and compression stockings. This project includes: (i) experimental study of anti-bacterial mechanism of the fibers and blends to determine their safety and efficiency; (ii) development of effective anti-bacterial yarns and fabrics for healthcare applications with appropriate blend ratio and distribution of the fibers in textiles; (iii) Design and fabrication of anti-bacterial and non-adherent fabrics of wound dressing; (iv) development and manufacturing of novel anti-bacterial knitted shoe uppers; (v) design and fabrication of novel smart compression stockings with various functions (e.g. anti-bacteria, pressure enhancement) at selected areas and optimized pressure distributions for human anatomy; (vi) development of new leg mannequin that mimics human figure with sensing capacity of pressure and shear force distributions by using optic fiber Bragg grating sensing network; and (vii) evaluation of the newly developed compression stockings by human subjects and the leg mannequin.
Application

1. Development of effective PLA/PHBV antimicrobial filament and staple yarns and fabrics for healthcare applications with appropriate blend ratio and distribution of the fibres in textiles;

2. Design and fabrication in mass production of the PLA/PHBV antimicrobial and non-adherent fabrics of wound dressing;

3. Development and manufacturing in mass production of novel PLA/PHBV anti-microbial knitted shoe uppers and socks;

4. Design and fabrication in mass production of novel PLA/PHBV smart compression stockings with functions such as anti-microbial, pressure enhancement at selected areas and optimised pressure distributions for human anatomy;

5. Design and fabrication of the bionic leg mannequin as well as the graphical user interface. The fabricated leg mannequin is size adjustable with high-sensitivity pressure sensors;

6. The PLA/PHBV fibres and key technologies of related products can be applied to hospital, healthcare clothing and home textiles against bacteria.

Industry Benefit

Currently, both natural and artificial antimicrobial fibre are found in market. The natural antimicrobial fibres are biodegradable and eco-friendly with limited antimicrobial effect. Artificial antimicrobial fibres possess good antimicrobial effect, but the antimicrobial components may lead to environmental pollution, such as the issue of silver nanoparticles.

The bio-based PLA/PHBV antimicrobial fibres possess advantages of both natural and artificial antimicrobial fibre. The fibres are biodegradable and eco-friendly, as well as effectively antimicrobial and anti-mite. New antimicrobial yarns, knitted and woven fabrics, socks, compression stockings, shoe uppers and wound dressing such as non-adherent absorbent pad and bandage were developed by the technology of bio-based PLA/PHBV fibres. These products and technology have wide range of potential application in hospital, healthcare clothing and home textiles.

Technological Breakthrough

1. A new PHB oligomer that extracted from biologically fermented PHB was identified. A one-step open-ring polymerisation of β-butyrolactone was also developed to obtain high-quality eco-friendly antimicrobial agents.

2. The new PLA/PHBV filament and staple yarns have antimicrobial and anti-mites properties. With appropriate blend ratio and distribution of the fibres, the developed fabrics can be used for healthcare applications;

3. The new PLA/PHBV wound dressing is made by antimicrobial and non-adherent fabrics;

4. The new PLA/PHBV knitted shoe uppers and socks are anti-microbial and odourless;

5. The new PLA/PHBV compression stockings carry out functions such as anti-microbial, pressure enhancement at selected areas and optimised pressure distributions for human anatomy;

6. The new bionic morphing leg mannequin is size adjustable with high-sensitivity pressure sensors to measure compression precisely.

Project Name (ITF)
Novel bio-based anti-bacterial textiles for healthcare applications
Project Number (ITF)
ITP/039/16TP