Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2007
Publication Date: October 21, 2007
Citation: Chun, D.T., Gamble, G.R. 2007. Using the reactive dye method to covalently attach antibacterial compounds to cotton. Journal of Cotton Science. 11:154-158. Interpretive Summary: Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole could be made to behave as reactive dyes which can convalently bind to cotton fabric. When doing so, the cotton fabric is imparted with antibacterial properties which appear to persist through multiple laudering. As currently applied, the effect of antibiotic concentration should be investigated to determine areas of efficacy. However this ease of application may extend to the use of other antibiotic drugs to provide value to cotton fabric where tailored or designer antibacterial fabric is desired.
Technical Abstract: For a long time, fibers and fabric with naturally antibacterial properties or treatments to provide antibacterial properties were the main emphasis where the quality and durability of the textile material was the main concern. The textile industry has since been attempting to develop antibacterial fabric to protect the wearers against spread of diseases with the concern of the general public for improved sanitation and personal protection against disease transmission. Most of the emphasis for treating fabric has been to attach biocidal or some bacteriostatic groups to the fabric surface. The approach taken in this study was to attach well described antibacterial drugs to cotton fabric with the goal that if this could be done easily, perhaps specific antibacterial drugs could be attached specifically for situations where such treated fabric could act as barriers against specific diseases or wound infections. Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole were modified to act as reactive dyes which were both individually or in combination covalently bonded to the surface of cotton fabric in order to impart the fabric with antibacterial properties. Some of the treated fabric was subjected to multiple washings to determine durability of the binding of the antibiotic to the fabrics. The treated fabrics were then assayed for antibacterial properties adn the results are reported here. The preliminary results of the antibacterial assays suggest that the antibacterial compound, trimethoprim, is tightly bound to the cotton fabric and imparts the fabric with antibacterial properties which is durable through multiple washes. The antibacterial assay results show that both trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole separately or when used together, imparts antibacterial properties with cotton fabric. These early results suggests that other compounds may be used to attach specific antibacterial compounds to fabric to create specific usage, designed or tailored fabrics to meet specialized needs.