Submitted to: Journal of Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/23/2005
Publication Date: 2/5/2007
Citation: Gawish, S.M., Matthews, S.R., Wafa, D.M., Breidt, F., Bourham, M.A. (2007)Atmospheric plasma-aided biocidal finishes for nonwoven polypropylene fabrics. part i: synthesis and characterization. Journal of Polymer Science. 103:1900-1910 Interpretive Summary: This paper is part I of a new method for creating fabrics that have antimicrobial activities. The fabrics were treated in a plasma-generating machine and then exposed to chemicals that kill microorganisms. The process allowed the antimicrobial chemicals to bind to the fabrics. Testing was done to determine how the antimicrobial compounds were attached to the fabrics. We then tested the efficacy of the antimicrobial fabric using laboratory strains of several types of bacteria. We did find a specific reduction in the cell numbers of the bacteria exposed to the fabric, not seen with untreated fabrics. This fabric treatment method may have many applications for preventing disease.
Technical Abstract: Novel biocidal fabrics were synthesized by graft copolymerization of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) onto plasma-treated nonwoven polypropylene (PP) to produce PP/GMA grafts. Atmospheric oxygenated helium plasma was used to enhance the PP fabrics’ initiation prior to GMA grafting. The grafted PP/GMA epoxide group was reacted with beta-cyclodextrin (beta-CD) or monochloro trizynyl beta-cyclodextrins (MCT-CD) or quaternary ammonium chitosan derivative (HTCC). Some interesting biocidal agents were complexed into the CD cavity of PP/GMA/CD grafted fabrics. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), along with Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) have been used to characterize the grafted-complexed fabrics. These biocidal fabrics proved to be excellent antistatic; having antimicrobial and insecticidal activity (Part II: Functionality of Synthesized Fabrics).