Self-sterilising textiles

A European project team plans to use nanotechnology to develop MRSA-resistant textiles such as hospital gowns and bedding, which can kill bacteria and be self-sterilising.


A European project team led by researchers at the University of Limerick plans to use nanotechnology to develop MRSA-resistant textiles such as hospital gowns and bedding, which can kill bacteria and be self-sterilising.



The university’s project partners include nine other European agencies, as well as NUI Galway and Irish companies BeoCare and Cook Medical.


‘The spread of drug-resistant germs such as MRSA is a major public health concern’, said Dr Tofail Syed, project coordinator. ‘A significant element of the MRSA problem arises from the use of conventional textiles such as hospital gowns, curtains, beddings and pillow covers. We intend to develop nanotechnology-derived textiles that will help hospitals in their fight against MRSA.’


In the EU alone, in excess of three million people develop an infection arising from hospital-based infections, resulting in approximately 50,000 deaths per annum. One in 10 patients entering a European hospital will develop an infection caused by drug-resistant microbes such as the hospital superbug MRSA.


Developing MRSA-resistant textiles is only one of four aims of the University of Limerick-led consortium, which is being funded by a three-year €5m (£3.9m) research contract.


The other three include developing novel cardio-vascular stents, new urinary stents and bone implants that will heal more rapidly than their conventional equivalents.