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Dragonfly's wings inspire development of biocides in textiles

According to Seshadri Ramkumar, Associate Professor of Non-Wovens at Texas Tech University the textiles sector can benefit from research and development activities in developing next generation functional textiles as more and more scientists are mimicking nature to develop functional properties such as waterproofing, changes in surface adhesion and biocidal characteristics. In an article for Commodity online Professor Ramkumar reports that the development of broad spectrum and cost effective biocides is a major challenge for the textile and related industries. He goes on to discuss the work of a team of Australian and Spanish researchers led by Elena Ivanova of the Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, that have developed nano black silicon biocidal surfaces that has shown to have effective biocidal capabilities against Gram-negative and Gram- positive bacteria and endospores. The team used the comparison of biocidal activities of nano black silicon and dragonfly wings, which show that they have similar antimicrobial characteristics.

2nd December 2013

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Lubbock, TX

Medical/Hygiene

According to Seshadri Ramkumar, Associate Professor of Non-Wovens at Texas Tech University the textiles sector can benefit from research and development activities in developing next generation functional textiles as more and more scientists are mimicking nature to develop functional properties such as waterproofing, changes in surface adhesion and biocidal characteristics.

In an article for Commodity online Professor Ramkumar reports that the development of broad spectrum and cost effective biocides is a major challenge for the textile and related industries. He goes on to discuss the work of a team of Australian and Spanish researchers led by Elena Ivanova of the Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, that have developed nano black silicon biocidal surfaces that has shown to have effective biocidal capabilities against Gram-negative and Gram- positive bacteria and endospores.

The team used the comparison of biocidal activities of nano black silicon and dragonfly wings, which show that they have similar antimicrobial characteristics.

Black silicon surfaces

The team of researchers has reported in Nature Communications Journal, the first biocidal activity of black silicon surfaces. These black silicon surfaces have nano-protrusions created by reactive ion etching technique which mimic the nanosurface features of dragonfly wings.

The scientists report that the structure helps with the mechanical biocidal activity which is independent of chemical characteristics. The experiments were verified using Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, vegetative cells and spores of Bacillus subtilis. The killing rates reported were about 450,000 cells/min/cm2.

Dragonfly wings

Biocidal activities of both nano black silicon and dragonfly wings on Gram-positive bacteria was the highest while biocidal capabilities with spores was the lowest.

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