Our world is full of microorganisms and we have contact with them every day without realizing that some of them might be dangerous to our health. A new discovery might a solution here – scientists from University of Leeds invented a self-cleaning textile. The material makes itself almost completely sterile eradicating all harmful bacteria (more than 90%) on its surface.
The material is a product of 7 years of development. The disinfection part is pretty simple – the textile uses alcohol in small quantities to clean itself. Its structure with small gaps between 3 non-woven textiles allows pushing out the cleansing alcohol gel every time it’s necessary. The material has to be replaced every 7 days, so it can’t be used for every surface out there.
In theory, such a fabric could be indispensable for space-wear. One investigation showed that a lot of harmful bacteria build up in spacecrafts, especially after a long period of time. The textile that cleans itself is an effective solution to this problem. Another possible area of application is hospitals. For example, door handles in hospitals are touched all the time by numerous people leaving all kinds of microbes. A handle made of this material can eliminate the threat of contamination.
More details about the invention and its testing in hospitals are available in the Journal of Hospital Infection.