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Antibacterial Fiber

Antibacterial fiber is a kind of functional fiber that can inhibit or kill bacteria. As a fiber material solution provider, Alfa Chemistry provides antimicrobial fiber products, including natural antimicrobial fibers and artificial antimicrobial fibers.


  • Natural Antibacterial Fiber
    Natural antibacterial fiber material itself has antibacterial properties and can be directly processed into fibers. Examples are chitin fiber, chitosan fiber, hemp fiber, bamboo fiber, etc.
  • Artificial Antibacterial Fiber
    Antibacterial agents are added to ordinary fibers that do not have antibacterial properties to make them into fibers with antibacterial functions. Common fiber matrix categories are polyester, acrylic, polypropylene, nylon, etc. Commonly used antibacterial agents include inorganic antibacterial agents such as Ag, Cu, Zn ions and metal oxides, and organic antibacterial agents such as organometallic compounds, halides, isothiazoles, quaternary ammonium salts, and organic nitrogen compounds.

Antibacterial mechanism

Antibacterial effects are usually achieved by interfering with bacterial DNA, protein synthesis, or the activity of enzymes involved in bacterial cell metabolism. Antibacterial surfaces kill bacteria by releasing drugs, directly contacting cell membranes, or expressing cationic polymers, as summarized in the figure below. [1]

Three proposed mechanisms for inactivating microorganismsThree proposed mechanisms for inactivating microorganisms


  • Blended Spinning Method
    The antibacterial fibers are obtained by blending the antibacterial agent with the polymer by techniques such as solution spinning or wet spinning. The method makes the inside of the fiber contain antibacterial agent, resulting long-term bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects.
  • Post-Processing Method
    The antibacterial agent is attached to the surface of the fiber by spraying or dipping and post-processing. This method requires less amount of antibacterial agent and lead to less impact on the properties of the fiber.
  • Ion Exchange Method
    Fibers with ion exchange groups can replace a layer of ions with antibacterial properties on the fiber surface through ion exchange reaction. Long-lasting antibacterial effect is achieved due to the formation of ionic bonds between the metal ions and the ion-exchange groups of the fibers.


Antibacterial fiber can sterilize and inhibit bacteria, and can also eliminate odor caused by bacterial reproduction, slow down the rate of fiber decay, and prevent the spread of certain diseases. Antibacterial fibers are mainly used in medical, health, food, and pharmaceutical industries. They can be used as gauze, bandages, surgical cloths and other medical supplies, underwear, children's clothing, air conditioning filtration, water purification and other purification equipment, as well as antibacterial work clothes.

Research Information

Domen Malis et al. investigated the effect of ZnO on the antibacterial activity of cellulose fibers and their biodegradation. In this work, the researchers determined the antibacterial activity of fiber samples against Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The results showed that the fiber composition in the samples had a great influence on its antibacterial activity. CLY fibers blended with CV exhibited high antibacterial activity against both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. [2]

Reduction, R, of E. coli and S. aureus for different CLY fiber samples.Reduction, R, of E. coli and S. aureus for different CLY fiber samples.


  1. Irene S. Kurtz, et al. Materials, 2018, 11(7), 1059.
  2. Domen Malis, et al. Materials, 2019, 12(20), 3399.

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