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Prof. Develops Anti-Microbial Technology for Fabrics

Jason Locklin (University of Georgia)

Jason Locklin (University of Georgia)

A University of Georgia researcher has invented an anti-microbial technology that can turn medical linens and clothing germ-free. Jason Locklin (right), a member of the chemistry and engineering faculties at the university’s Athens campus, published results of his and colleagues’ research last month in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces; paid subscription required.

Locklin’s discovery involves synthesized polymers that attach to natural fabrics like cotton, and synthetic fabrics such as polypropylene. He and his colleagues found the treatment gave fabrics anti-microbial capabilities, killing 98 percent or more of staph and E. coli bacteria. After just a single application, says Locklin, no bacterial growth was observed on textile samples, even after 24 hours at 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 F).

These anti-microbial properties make the treatments useful in the manufacture of garments worn by health care and food service workers, as well as consumer clothing. In testing, the treatment remained active after multiple hot water laundry cycles, demonstrating the anti-bacterial property does not leach out from the textiles under harsh conditions.

As a result, the treatment need be applied once, or at most, infrequently. Retreating the fabrics, if needed, can be done by spraying.

The technology is available for licensing from University of Georgia Research Foundation, the institution’s technology transfer office.

Read more: Patent Awarded for Antimicrobial Polyurethane Resins

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