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Antibacterial Material

“Safer than silver: antibacterial material made with algae”

Pretty cool research made at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Professor Mikael Hedenqvist says, on KTH’s website, he and his colleagues, assistant professor Richard Olsson and doctoral student Rickard Anderssonhave produced new antibacterial fibres that combine bio-compatible plastics with the antimicrobial compound, lanosol, which is commonly found in seaweeds of the family Rhodophyta, or red algae.

This algae-based compound can replace silver ions which is commonly used in antibacterial and odor-free clothing. The use of silver ions for antibacterial textiles has been a matter of hot debate worldwide. As for instance, Sweden’s national agency for chemical inspection is one authority which has ruled silver a health risk, citing possible damage to human genetic material, reproduction and embryonic development.

Hedenqvist also says, the material could one day be used in air filters or to dress fittings in hospitals, since the active antiseptic substance of red algae has been shown to kill 99.99 percent of bacteria type Staphylococcus aureus – the most common cause of skin and wound infections in hospital environments.

Read more about their research here

 

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A close-up of the antibacterial fibre created
by the KTH scientists. In this 2x2cm swatch
of fabric are nearly 200,000 threads running
in the same direction

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