According to the WHO, nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections represent “the most frequent adverse event during care delivery and no institution or country can claim to have solved the problem yet.” These infections, which affect both staff and patients, can be transmitted via textiles such as bed linen, drapes, towels, pyjamas, and clothing. The consequences are manifold: “prolonged hospital stays, long-term disability, increased resistance of microorganisms to antimicrobials, massive additional costs for health systems, high costs for patients and their family, and unnecessary deaths.” 511 million people contract a nosocomial infection and 13.8 million die annually. Europe shares the burden: an average prevalence of 10%, 3 million deaths and €11 billion in healthcare costs.
Of the few existing antibacterial textile solutions available, most are only able to create synthetic antibacterial fibres which need to be implemented as part of the weaving process. They are expensive, show poor resistance to machine washing and none can be used on all fabric types. Some change fabric colour, while others pose toxicity issues.
There is a pressing need to find a solution. And Nano-Textile is bringing one to market thanks to an innovative advanced manufacturing process based on a sonochemical reactor that embeds zinc oxide nanoparticles into textile fabric fibres via a one-step nanometric explosion.
The Nano-Textile process transfers enduring antibacterial properties to readymade fabric, is cost effective and without toxicity or other common issues. It is the only solution that can be applied to both natural and synthetic fabrics, and unlike competitors, Nano-Textile’s process doesn’t alter fabric colour or tone and can be used for any color shade.
Successful commercialisation has the potential to reduce morbidity on a large scale, save millions of lives and ease the cost burden on strained healthcare systems.