Rapid assembly of colorless antimicrobial and anti-odor coatings from polyphenols and silver

Joseph J. Richardson, Wenting Liao, Jincai Li, Bohan Cheng, Chenyu Wang, Taku Maruyama, Blaise L. Tardy, Junling Guo, Lingyun Zhao, Wanping Aw, Hirotaka Ejima

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The development of antimicrobial fabrics and textiles that can sustainably inhibit a broad spectrum of microbes is crucial for protecting against pathogens in various environments. However, engineering antimicrobial textiles is challenging due to issues with discoloration and inhibited breathability, the use of harmful or harsh reagents and synthesis conditions, and complex and/or time-consuming processing. Herein, we develop a facile and rapid approach to deposit antimicrobial coatings using universally adherent plant polyphenols and antimicrobial silver ions. Importantly, the coatings are colorless, thin (< 10 nm), rapidly assembled (< 20 min), and can be deposited via immersion or spraying. We demonstrate that these metal-phenolic coatings on textiles can inhibit lipid-enveloped viruses over one thousand times more efficiently than coatings composed of other metal ions, while maintaining their efficacy even after 5 washes. Moreover, the coatings also inhibit Gram positive and negative bacteria, and fungi, and can prevent odors on clothes for at least 10 washes. Collectively, the ease of synthesis, use of simple and safe precursors, and amenability to at-home and industrial application suggests that the coatings will find practical application in various settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2071
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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