Modification in hospital textiles to include disinfection properties may help in the reduction of nosocomial infections. In this study, antibacterial properties were imparted to cotton fabric by modifying it with pure and (1%) silver doped titania nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were prepared by liquid impregnation process and characterized using X-ray Diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). These nanoparticles were attached to cotton fabric using a cross linking agent succinic acid. Samples were washed at three different temperatures (30, 60 and 90°C), with and without detergent and for different number of cycles to test the durability of nanoparticles to the fabric. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used for studying surface topography of fabric. Energy Dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) spectrometer was used to detect the titanium present on the fabric. Catalytic spectrophotometry using UV/visible spectrophotometer was used to determine titania concentration in washing effluent. The antibacterial activity of the modified fabric was examined against Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) under UV and fluorescent light. The maximum durability of titania nanoparticles to the fabric was retained after washing without detergent at 30°C. The overall results of durability testing showed that coating of nanoparticles on fabric was durable against washing at various conditions, hence suitable from an environmental perspective. Antibacterial testing showed 100% photocatalytic inactivation of MRSA after 4 and 24 h of UV and fluorescent light exposure respectively. The potential of using such textiles in hospital environment was validated through the use of modified bed linen in a local hospital for a period of three days consecutively. The viable count indicated the reduced bacterial contamination on nano-coated fabric as compared to uncoated fabric. Bed linen, curtains, staff uniforms, lab coats and medical garments developed from titania nanoparticle coated fabric may improve hospital environment against antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Tehseen Tahir, Ishtiaq Ahmed Qazi, Imran Hashmi and Muhammad Anwar Baig