Novel bio-based antimicrobial textiles for healthcare applications

Our recent discovery found that PLA/PHBV (Polylactic acid/Polyhydroxybutyrate) antimicrobial fibres are 100% bio-based and fully degradable. This project explored technologies to utilise the fibres, yarns and fabrics for new wound dressings, shoe uppers, compression stockings and a novel evaluation mannequin.

Experimental study of antimicrobial mechanism of the PLA/PHBV chips, fibres and fabrics has been systematically investigated. The study found PHB oligomer, a new antimicrobial agent which is extracted from biologically fermented PHB. A simple one-step open-ring polymerisation of β-butyrolactone was also developed to obtain high-quality and eco-friendly antimicrobial agents.

Application

  1. Development of effective PLA/PHBV antimicrobial filament and staple yarns and fabrics for healthcare applications with appropriate blend ratio and distribution of the fibres in textiles;
  2. Design and fabrication in mass production of the PLA/PHBV antimicrobial and non-adherent fabrics of wound dressing;
  3. Development and manufacturing in mass production of novel PLA/PHBV anti-microbial knitted shoe uppers and socks;
  4. Design and fabrication in mass production of novel PLA/PHBV smart compression stockings with functions such as anti-microbial, pressure enhancement at selected areas and optimised pressure distributions for human anatomy;
  5. Design and fabrication of the bionic leg mannequin as well as the graphical user interface. The fabricated leg mannequin is size adjustable with high-sensitivity pressure sensors;
  6. The PLA/PHBV fibres and key technologies of related products can be applied to hospital, healthcare clothing and home textiles against bacteria.

Technological Breakthrough

  1. A new PHB oligomer that extracted from biologically fermented PHB was identified. A one-step open-ring polymerisation of β-butyrolactone was also developed to obtain high-quality eco-friendly antimicrobial agents.
  2. The new PLA/PHBV filament and staple yarns have antimicrobial and anti-mites properties. With appropriate blend ratio and distribution of the fibres, the developed fabrics can be used for healthcare applications;
  3. The new PLA/PHBV wound dressing is made by antimicrobial and non-adherent fabrics;
  4. The new PLA/PHBV knitted shoe uppers and socks are anti-microbial and odourless;
  5. The new PLA/PHBV compression stockings carry out functions such as anti-microbial, pressure enhancement at selected areas and optimised pressure distributions for human anatomy;
  6. The new bionic morphing leg mannequin is size adjustable with high-sensitivity pressure sensors to measure compression precisely.

Industry Benefit

Currently, both natural and artificial antimicrobial fibre are found in market. The natural antimicrobial fibres are biodegradable and eco-friendly with limited antimicrobial effect. Artificial antimicrobial fibres possess good antimicrobial effect, but the antimicrobial components may lead to environmental pollution, such as the issue of silver nanoparticles.

The bio-based PLA/PHBV antimicrobial fibres possess advantages of both natural and artificial antimicrobial fibre. The fibres are biodegradable and eco-friendly, as well as effectively antimicrobial and anti-mite. New antimicrobial yarns, knitted and woven fabrics, socks, compression stockings, shoe uppers and wound dressing such as non-adherent absorbent pad and bandage were developed by the technology of bio-based PLA/PHBV fibres. These products and technology have wide range of potential application in hospital, healthcare clothing and home textiles.

For more details, please contact us. (Email: info@hkrita.com; Tel: (852) 2627 0180)