Fabrics that fight germs, find explosives go to market

Sep 22, 2009 By Sheri Hall
The technology developed at Cornell impart unique properties such as simultaneous water and oil repellency to fabrics while preserving their air permeability and comfort properties.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two Cornell researchers have launched iFyber LLC, which markets fabrics with embedded nanoparticles to detect explosives and dangerous chemicals or to serve as antibacterials for hospitals.

Fabrics with embedded nanoparticles to detect counterfeiting devices, explosives and dangerous chemicals or to serve as antibacterials for hospitals, law enforcement or the hospitality industry are just a few of the products that a new company, launched by two Cornell researchers, will produce.

iFyber LLC, begun in fall 2008, uses technology developed through a cross-campus collaboration by fiber science professor Juan Hinestroza and Aaron Strickland, a research associate in the Department of Food Science. The company, which will commercialize this research was launched and funded by KensaGroup LLC in collaboration with the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization.

The key to iFyber's technology is the ability to deposit nanocoatings on natural and with nanoscale precision, Hinestroza explained.

"We're using a chemical process to uniformly deposit nanoscopic particles onto the surface of a fabric," he said. "These particles can change the properties of the ."

Among the custom properties of the treated fibers are simultaneous water and oil resistance, antimicrobial behavior and electrical conductivity. The company's proprietary process allows the to adhere to curved fiber surfaces and crevices with a uniform distribution of particles using traditional textile processing equipment.

"There is significant potential to use this technology in a wide range of applications," said Strickland, director for research and development of iFyber.

To date, the company has received two Small Business Innovative Research Grants from the U.S. Department of Defense for developing custom fabrics using nanotechnology. One project is to develop a material that can detect and identify leaks in chemical warfare suits used by the U.S. Air Force. The second is to create novel antibacterial wound dressings and surgical sutures for the U.S. Navy.

In addition, undergraduate students from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, under the direction of Professors Robert Kwortnik and Michael Sturman, conducted a preliminary market analysis on using the technology to create antibacterial bedding and linens for the hospitality industry. "We are waiting further market analysis before moving into the linen market," he said.

Provided by Cornell University (news : web)

Explore further: Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanotech Researchers Develop High-Tech 'Smart Textile'

May 24, 2005

Researchers at North Carolina State University are using emerging breakthroughs in nanotechnology to develop layers of "smart textiles" that will not only keep first responders and the military safe without sacrificing com ...

Of Rice and Hen: Fashions from the Farm

Sep 12, 2006

In the future, it might be perfectly normal to wear suits and dresses made of chicken feathers or rice straw. But don’t worry: These clothes won’t resemble fluffy plumage or hairy door mats. Scientists ...

Recommended for you

Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

14 hours ago

A new nano-membrane made out of the 'super material' graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The ...

Wiring up carbon-based electronics

16 hours ago

Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered ...

Making 'bucky-balls' in spin-out's sights

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —A new Oxford spin-out firm is targeting the difficult challenge of manufacturing fullerenes, known as 'bucky-balls' because of their spherical shape, a type of carbon nanomaterial which, like ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

A new nano-membrane made out of the 'super material' graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The ...

Wiring up carbon-based electronics

Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Six Nepalese dead, six missing in Everest avalanche

At least six Nepalese climbing guides have been killed and six others are missing after an avalanche struck Mount Everest early Friday in one of the deadliest accidents on the world's highest peak, officials ...