Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Israel scientists develop fluorescent cellulose fibres
Israel scientists develop fluorescent cellulose fibres
20
Sep '17
Scientists from Israel have developed a way to grow chemically modified cellulose fibres with fluorescent and magnetic properties using the natural machinery of the cotton plant and without genetic modification. The proof-of-principle approach could be adapted to other plants and organisms and pave the way for farms that grow smart materials, says the team.

Current approaches to make smart textiles rely on coating fibres with chemicals. However, the coatings eventually wear off and lose functionality. Now, Filipe Natalio at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and his colleagues have combined the biology of the cotton plant with synthetic chemistry to grow ‘smart cellulose’.

“We chose the cotton plant because of its economic importance and long relation with humans,” explains Natalio. “The question was: can we use the cellular machinery of cotton in our favour to produce fibres with tailored properties?”

Cellulose fibres are formed from glucose monomers that polymerise in the developing ovules of the cotton plant, so the researchers wondered if they could alter the monomer building blocks. They made two glucose derivatives containing different functional molecules, using simple peptide and sugar chemistry. One contained fluorescein – a yellow, fluorescent compound – while the other had a macrocycle containing a dysprosium ion – a rare earth element with magnetic properties.

Fertilised ovules are added to a growth medium containing the modified glucose molecules, which are then incorporated into the cellulose produced by the ovule.

The researchers then introduced the glucose derivatives into the growing medium of cotton ovules, and 20 days after fertilisation the cellulose fibres formed were fluorescent [under UV light] or magnetic. “The biology starts to work and process these modified molecules the same way as it does with the unmodified cellulose,” says Natalio. The bonds between the functional moeity and the sugar monomer should make the material more resistant to wear. However, the fluorescent cellulose fibres were weaker compared to natural cellulose.

“The concept has potential to spark a new `agricultural industrial revolution’ bringing cleaner, possibly de-centralised ways to make functionalised biomaterials,” comments Karen Edler at the University of Bath. “A greenhouse producing smart textiles for the next generation of performance clothing or textiles for anything from healthcare to home decor is an appealing alternative to another chemical manufacturing plant.”

Natalio hopes to move from in vitro cotton ovule models to real plants and establish the concept of material farming. “The idea is to have greenhouses growing hydroponic cotton in which each greenhouse produces cotton with different functionalities and these greenhouses are powered by renewable resources,” he says. “We can envision wearable materials that can provide data storage, photo-actuactors, detectors of pollution and explosives.” (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


Must ReadView All

Top 15 US fashion brands are collectively worth $70 bn

Fashion | On 22nd Jul 2018

Top 15 US fashion brands are collectively worth $70 bn

The top 15 American fashion brands are collectively worth close to...

Courtesy: Covestro

Textiles | On 22nd Jul 2018

Covestro's new products for waterproof textile coating

Covestro, which is among the largest polymer companies, has unveiled...

Evogene, IMAmt to work together in insect resistance

Textiles | On 22nd Jul 2018

Evogene, IMAmt to work together in insect resistance

Evogene, a leading biotechnology company developing novel products...

Interviews View All

Spokesperson
Hugo Boss

'Hugo Boss works with carefully selected sourcing partners'

Jim Desai
Blaiva Fabricaa

Fashion industry likely to remain labour-intensive in coming years

Top executives
Textile industry

Union budget 2018-19 will have positive impact on apparel industry

Manuele Baggini

Comec Italia Srl is a world leader in the production of printing machines. ...

Abhishek Pachauri

Reckon Industries is into manufacturing of textile process house machines, ...

Vikas Banduke

Softech Controls Private Limited (SCPL) is a part of the Cotmac Group, an...

Mohammad Hassan
Biax Fiberfilm

About one in every 20 patients picks up an infection while hospitalised....

Paolo Ocleppo
Sandvik Hyperion

Paolo Ocleppo, Rotary Cutting Segment manager, Sandvik Hyperion discusses...

Mark Paterson
Technical Absorbents Ltd

Mark Paterson, R&D manager of Technical Absorbents Ltd talks about Super...

Aditi Somani
Aditi Somani

Aditi Somani specialises in luxury fusion wear with international cuts and ...

Bani Batra

Bani Batra’s couture wedding collection is inspired by traditional Indian...

Cigdem Akin
Cigdem Akin

She has carved a niche for herself as the national brand of Turkey. Her...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


July 2018

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Advanced Search