Monitoring textile

Pathogenic micro-organisms are a threat to everyone’s health. Only in May 2012 five departments of the Antonius hospital in Nieuwegein (the Netherlands) were closed down because of a multi resistant bacteria. The nowadays technology prevents a continuous monitoring, so these break outs are often detected too late. Monitoring textile is a textile that reacts to specific micro-organisms (both bacteria and viruses) by changing colour. By incorporating Monitoring textile into bed linen of hospitals and various other health care institutes, patients can be monitored continuously thus preventing outbreaks!

Monitoring textile can also be applied in everyday surroundings. For example for the promotion of kitchen hygiene when applied to a towel or dishcloth. The cloth will indicate when washing is needed and thus never get dirtier than the kitchen sink.

Monitoring textile is a concept, and as such is not yet available in shops. If you are interested in exploring this concept, please contact us.

Implications on everyday life

Promises: In a hospital: all units continuously monitoring on pathogenic micro-organisms without additional people or expensive tests. A molecular test, currently the fastest way to detect micro-organisms, cost approximately €700 and 4 man hours, so it can not be performed continuously on all patients.

The monitoring of Monitoring textile will only take a few seconds and can be performed during normal patient care by the nursing staff. In everyday surroundings: detection of micro-organisms in home textiles to promote hygiene. Research has show the average time a single dishcloth is being used in the kitchen before being replaced is two weeks. The dishcloth acts as a carrier of bacteria which will get into food and thus cause food poisoning. Through this signaling it will become clear that the acceptable amount of bacteria is exceeded.

Fears: Long-term effects of contact with or the ingestion of these biosensors. The fear of swallowing these biosensors when drinking coffee from a cup wiped with a Monitoring textile towel.

Technological feasibility

Specific receptors are being incorporated into the nanofibers before making the yarn for weaving textile cloth. These receptors react to the presence of certain micro organisms and when bound to one, start a cascade resulting in changing color. The color indicates which micro organism is attached to the receptor. Monitoring textile is based on color change after bio-interaction. Closer examination on the exact color changing agent needs to be executed. This could be for example chromatophores, as a chameleon or cuttlefish utilizes, erythrofores, as the Siamese fighting fish makes use of, or fluorescent proteins from a jellyfish.

Furthermore following needs to be examined. Which receptors bind specifically to certain micro-organisms. What is the best method for producing nanofibers. Is there a possibility to undo the action, so textile can be used multiple times? What is the reaction of Monitoring textile on water, detergent, day and sun light and will the technology remain in the textile. How can we prevent incorrect diagnose.