Swiss Technology Award for a project with Empa participation

Odor-Free Clothing through SANITIZED AG Innovation

Nov 22, 2013 | CORNELIA ZOGG

On Wednesday a Project with participation of the Empa was honored with the SWISS TECHNOLOGY AWARD in the «Sustainable Leader» category. The jury was convinced by a new product from SANITIZED AG that inhibits the development of unpleasant odor-causing bacteria on textiles through the repellent action of this technology.



Constantly seeking to develop their products further and particularly looking for new technologies, the SANITIZED AG researchers closely monitor the developments and innovations in many branches of the industry. So the current success is the result of a discussion between Niklaus J. Lüthi, the owner of SANITIZED AG, and Dr. Heinz Katzenmeier, the Innovation Manager, about the risks of bacterial colonization during implants in the human body. To increase patient safety, medical engineering is using a technology that repels bacteria. The idea of transferring these mechanisms of action to an application for textiles was realized with the Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. The backing of the federal Innovation Promotion Agency (CTI) as the financing partner was obtained.

The innovation honored with the SWISS TECHNOLOGY AWARD was developed for the application to textiles to reduce the problem of undesirable odor formation, for an unpleasant odor can redevelop on the clothing right after washing. This odor is generated by the metabolic byproducts of naturally occurring bacteria that were not eliminated completely during the washing.The outcome of this research project is the Sanitized® Pluma technology, which inhibits the buildup of bacteria on the surface of the fibers and the undesirable odor development. This is the decisive difference compared with previously applied technologies: even the colonization of the textile surface by bacteria is prevented. The surface of the textile is coated with a special polymer that retains a microscopically thin film of water on the surface of the textile. The docking of bacteria on the textile fibers is thus inhibited, and existing bacteria are rinsed away during hand or low-temperature washing. This saves both energy and water and sustainably extends the life of the textiles.


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