The research team at UNIST, led by Professor Robert J Mitchell extracted crude Violacein using a self-developed production technique. Violacein is a violet pigment naturally made by bacteria and is reported to have antibacterial, antiprotozoal, antiviral and anticancer effects and this was used to dye the cotton fabric. They discovered that this fabric blocked the growth of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains by 99.9 percent.
The collaborative group involving UNIST, Yeejoo and KICET, as part of a local public health project used this anti-bacterial fabric to produce proto-type anti-super-bacterial masks and recently donated these masks to Dong Kang General Hospital, a local hospital in Ulsan, South Korea.
“This is first case where an antibacterial fabric was produced using Violacein. This fabric has the possibility to reduce the impact of super-bacterial infections and we hope this donation will help public health,” said Mitchell.
The research work was supported through the EUREKA program by a grant from the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT). (NA)
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