Scientists from the US Air Force Research Laboratory have found a way to convert ordinary silk into an antibacterial fabric by dipping it into certain chemicals. After the coating process the silk can kill bacteria and even coated spores. The research results were reported this week in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Previous research showed that other fabrics dipped into chemical solutions could damage biomolecules. Silk was chosen because it is widely available around the world, has excellent mechanical properties and offers good biocompatibility. A chemical solution similar to household bleach was used to coat the silk. After letting it dry, the silk could kill E.coli and spores of bacteria similar to Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). Some possible applications are using prepared silk as a filter material for treating contaminated water or for cleaning air from pathogenic spores.
Article at ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces: Sporicidal/Bactericidal Textiles via the Chlorination of Silk