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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Using the Reactive Dye Method to Covalently Attach Antibacterial Compounds to Cotton

Authors: D. T. W. Chun, and G.R. Gamble
Pages: 154-158
Textile Technology

Fabric quality and durability are a concern with fibers that contain natural antibacterial properties or are treated to provide antibacterial properties. The textile industry has developed antibacterial fabric to address the public’s desire for improved sanitation and personal protection against disease transmission. The approach has been to attach biocidal or some bacteriostatic groups to the fabric surface. In this study, well described antibacterial drugs were attached to cotton fabric with the goal that if this could be accomplished easily, treated fabric could act as barriers against specific diseases or wound infections. Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole were modified to act as reactive dyes and were covalently bonded to the surface of cotton in order to impart antibacterial properties. Some of the treated fabric was subjected to multiple washings to determine durability. The treated fabrics were then assayed for antibacterial properties. The preliminary results suggest that the antibacterial compound trimethoprim is tightly bound to the cotton fabric and imparts to the fabric antibacterial properties, which are durable through multiple washes. The results show that both trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole impart antibacterial properties to cotton fabric. These results indicate that other compounds may be used to attach specific antibacterial compounds to fabric to create specific usage, designer, or tailored fabrics to meet specialized needs.