Commercialisation
Opportunities

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.

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.

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.

Licensing Details

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

Related ITF project
Research Start Date 2019-03-29