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Hohenstein Institute Develops Medicinal Gas-Releasing Textile Prototype

The Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology (IHB) at The Hohenstein Institute, a Germany-based textile research and testing laboratory with locations worldwide, has introduced a new principle for antimicrobial textile products with a prototype textile that releases medicinal gasses for therapeutic applications. The prototype features cotton fibers refined with silicon oxide particles using nanosol technology, with a substance bonded into the matrix that is capable of releasing nitrogen monoxide, also known as nitric oxide, under physiological conditions. This gas, which possesses a wide range of characteristics, is present naturally in the human body where it functions in a variety of ways including as an antibacterial agent that destroys bacteria cell membranes, damaging their genetic material and restricting their metabolism; as a molecular neurotransmitter; and for vasodilatation.

According to Hohenstein scientists, nitric oxide has a very short half-life, so it was necessary to develop a method of nitric oxide coating to ensure the gas is released close to the site of application and is therefore effective. The Hohenstein Institute's research focused on antibacterial textiles for use in dentistry, but other working groups have suggested that nitric-oxide-releasing coatings that prevent the adhesion of bacteria also could be used for implants such as catheters, in vivo sensors or prostheses.

A publication detailing IHB's research called "Nitric Oxide Releasing Dental Cotton Rolls With Anti-Microbial Effect (AiF-Nr. 15721 N)" will be released after the research is completed sometime before the end of 2010.

June 9, 2009