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Title: Properties of antibacterial polypropylene/nanometal composite fibers

item GAWISH, S. M. - Egypt National Research Center
item AVCI, H. - North Carolina State University
item RAMADAN, A. M. - Egypt National Research Center
item MOSLEH, S. - Egypt National Research Center
item MONTICELLO, R. - Aegis Environments
item Breidt, Frederick
item KOTEK, R. - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/2010
Publication Date: 2/1/2012
Citation: Gawish, S., Avci, H., Ramadan, A., Mosleh, S., Monticello, R., Breidt, F., Kotek, R. 2012. Properties of antibacterial polypropylene/nanometal composite fibers. Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition. 23:43-61.

Interpretive Summary: The research was carried to determine how antimicrobial fibers for cloth can be constructed, and if antimicrobial compounds linked to fibers can effectively kill bacteria that come in contact with the fibers. Fibers were tested with disease causing bacteria that are commonly found in the environment. Bacterial cultures in water based suspensions were found to be reduced in cell numbers when exposed to the antimicrobial cloth, resulting in up to a 100 fold reduction in viable cells. The results indicate that antimicrobial compounds in fibers can potentially be effective in incorporated into cloth.

Technical Abstract: Melt spinning of polypropylene fibers containing silver and zinc nanoparticles was investigated. The nanometals were generally uniformly dispersed in polypropylene, but aggregation of these materials was observed on fiber surface and in fiber cross-sections. The mechanical properties of the resulted composite fibers with low concentration of nanometal were comparable to those for the control PP yarns. Extruded composite fibers that contained 0.72% silver and 0.60% zinc nanoparticles had outstanding antibacterial efficacy as documented by the percentage count reduction growth of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Fibers containing silver particles had improved antistatic properties.