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ARS Researchers Use Tiny Particles to Create Huge Antimicrobial Capabilities

Cotton web containing copper oxide nanoflowers. It can be used as is, or further processed to create durable nonwoven fabrics. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Hillyer)

At a time when a global pandemic has sent shockwaves through society, the need for products to fight bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens has become more urgent than ever. Fortunately, ARS researchers have been working on powerful anti-microbial tools for years.

Scientists at the ARS Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, LA, have been perfecting a technology to embed nanoparticles of silver – a known anti-microbial agent – inside of cotton fibers; binding them securely and enabling them to survive countless turns through a washing machine. The result is cotton-based textile products that have a powerful and lasting ability to kill germs.  Learn more.