2. November 2017 / Sugar molecules make cotton fibres glow

Filipe Natalio, a chemist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and a team of seven further researchers from science institutes in Germany and Austria has developed a process for imbuing cotton fibers with material that glows under fluorescent light. In their paper published in the journal Science on September14, the team described their process, how well it works and other applications under which it might prove useful.

The researchers are convinced that cotton is a promising basis for wearable smart textiles. Current approaches that rely on fiber coatings suffer from function loss during wear, they argue. They presented an approach that allows biological incorporation of exogenous molecules into cotton fibers to tailor the material‘s functionality. This yields fibers with unnatural properties such as fluorescence or magnetism. Following the team combining biological systems with the appropriate molecular design can offer numerous possibilities to grow functional composite materials and implements a material-farming concept.

At the International Cotton Conference Bremen 2018, March 21 – 23 Filipe Natalio as speaker will provide the participants with detailed information about the results of his research and will show new product possibilities based on it.

More information: Filipe Natalio et al. Biological fabrication of cellulose fibers with tailored properties, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aan5830

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