Bacteria-repellent clothing of the future that communicates with electrical appliances?

Bacteria-repellent clothing of the future that communicates with electrical appliances?

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Clothing fends off pathogens and operates electronic devices

The clothing of the future is here. It is waterproof, dirt-repellent, repels pathogens and also serves as a remote control for various electrical devices such as lamps or music players. The energy required for this is generated by the clothing itself when it is worn. In a recent study, an American research team is presenting the substance that could introduce the next generation of clothing.

Researchers at Purdue University recently presented novel clothing that could revolutionize the clothing industry. The so-called e-textile not only repels dirt, water and pathogens, but also controls electronic devices in the area. According to the research team, the substance can be produced without expensive manufacturing processes or complex equipment. The new e-textile was presented in the specialist journal "Advanced Functional Materials".

All-rounder clothing

Fresh, dry, fashionable, clean and safe is the motto of the new e-textiles. Regardless of whether you are surprised by a rain shower, spilled your skin or surrounded by pathogens - according to the scientists at Purdue University, the new clothing system can offer considerable protection from the environment. The researchers also report that the light can be switched on or off and the music system or other electronic devices operated using short hand movements on clothing.

Any fabric can be converted into e-textiles

"It is the first time that there is a technology that is able to convert any existing cloth or textile into a battery-operated e-textile," reports Ramses Martinez from the research team. Not even expensive manufacturing processes, complex work steps or expensive basic equipment are required. The technology is based on nanogenerators that are transferred to the desired textile via embroidery. The generators then ensure that odors, stains and bacteria are kept away from clothing. At the same time, they serve as an interface between the wearer and electronic devices.

Where does the amazing effect come from?

What sounds like magic is actually the latest nanotechnology. The embroidery with the nanogenerators must be spread over the garment at certain intervals. These generators continuously produce so-called organosilanes, which are distributed over the clothing like a small network and produce the effects described above. The generators are charged via the energy generated during the movement. The nanogenerators are also machine washable.

Partner wanted

"An interface with a machine that we always carry sounds like the most convenient approach for smooth communication between people and machines and the Internet of Things," summarizes Martinez. The research team is currently looking for a commercial partner to launch the first clothing of this type on the market. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Martinez, Ramses V. / Sala de Medeiros, Marina / Chanci, Daniela / u.a .: Waterproof, Breathable, and Antibacterial Self ‐ Powered e ‐ Textiles Based on Omniphobic Triboelectric Nanogenerators, Advanced Functional Materials, 2019,

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