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Multifunctional textiles: cellulose coatedwith zinc oxidenaoparticles to control hospital infections

Grant number: 18/00357-0
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: February 01, 2019 - October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Carina Loffredo
Grantee:Carina Loffredo
Company:Nanopol Consultoria Tecnológica Ltda
CNAE: Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: São Paulo


Textile, especially cotton, in hospital environments accumulate moisture and organic (sweat, urine, etc.), which serve as nutrients for proliferation of pathogenic bacteria contributing to the development of "Healthcare Associated Infections" - acquired nosocomial infections (HAIs), resulting in increased deaths and increased hospital costs. The present project is important within that context by applying nanotechnology to surface modification of textiles, giving them new and unique properties. Especially in the preparation of cotton for hospital use of "disposable" materials and, as far as possible in "reusable" ones (sheets, aprons, caps, curtains, etc.) with barrier characteristics (hydrophobic) and mainly with antibacterial activity (bactericidal and bacteriostatic properties) from the deposition of zinc oxide nano-particles. Among various metal nano-oxides, organic compounds and nanostructured metals, nano-ZnO was selected primarily due to its various antimicrobial mechanisms of action, resulting in action on wide range of pathogens making them less likely to acquire resistance. Allied to this other advantages are present, such as possibility for simple application techniques, low solubility under the conditions of high temperatures and alkalinity of the aqueous bath used for the sanitization of the textile. Compared to the colloidal silver with a similar role in the market, it has advantages of lower cost, lack of development of greyish color on the fabric or skin, and blocking the UVA / UVB radiation. It also presents skin healing properties; non allergenic; capacity of photo-oxidation of organic compounds and microorganisms (reducing odors). The solvothermic, hydrothermal route when the solvent is water, was selected for synthesis of nano-ZnO seeds and wires due to its appropriateness to the industrial textile processes, such as application of simple equipment / closed (autoclave) minimizing environmental pollution; low cost; ZnO nano-synthesis with various morphologies; employment of mild conditions, temperature / pressure; obtaining a latex (dispersion) suitable for coating textiles. In future steps (Phase 2) of this project it is intended to add a crosslinking agent for generating three-dimensional thin polymeric layer on the fiber which acts as a support / coupling agent (covalent bond) to nanospheres-ZnO. These nanospheres act, in a second step, as seeds for growing nanowires, ZnO, radially oriented on the fiber. The project is designed for production of hospital antimicrobial textiles, disposable and non-disposable, giving characteristics / basic features added to other additional as barrier to UV radiation; minimal environmental impact; expanding / maintaining breathability and comfort of the textile etc. The primary desired result, however, is the decrease of HAIs (AU)

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