In addition to that, carbon nanostructures are now being used in the development of lightweight building materials. Just in terms of their applications in medicine, pharmaceuticals and medical technology alone, predictions are for double-digit growth. But nanotechnology has enormous potential for applications in the textile sector too.
The possible range of applications is as large as that of the textiles themselves. Be it in medical technology, filter technology, functional apparel or automotive construction, well-known exhibitors at Techtextil will, from 11 to 13 June 2013, be showcasing the many and varied areas of application for this innovative technology in Frankfurt am Main.
In Germany, the topic forms an increasingly important focus for the work of the major textile research institutes. For the textile sector has also recognised the potential for nanotechnology. Apparel textiles, with dirt- and water-resistant nano finishes, are already widespread, especially in sports and outdoor wear. Textiles with anti-bacterial qualities, based on the use of silver nanoparticles, have also found their way onto the market. Moreover, rapidly advancing research is opening new horizons all the time.
The anti-bacterial textiles we are talking about are optimised for use in the healthcare sector – as a weapon in the fight against the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs. Other possibilities for medical applications of nano textiles include surgical bandages that can be removed without leaving any residual traces.
These can be made from a nonwoven fabric of bio-compatible nanofibre or in the form of sticking plasters that imitate the well-known technique that a gecko's foot uses to cling on.
At the Institute for Textile Machinery and High- Performance Materials Technology at the Technical University of Dresden, (Institut für Textilmaschinen und Textile Hochleistungswerkstofftechnik, TU Dresden) nanofibres made of biopolymers are formed into nonwoven fabric, which are due to come into use in regenerative medicine as so-called 'scaffolds'.
These form a structural basis for the cultivation of cells with the aim of creating artificial tissue that can be used for implant purposes.
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