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Germ-Resistant Kevlar

August 27, 2008

A new coating could make Kevlar fabrics resistant to biological agents.


Bio-resistant body armor. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Kevlar body armor can protect the wearer from fire and gunshots. Now, scientists are working on making them resistant to biological agents, with funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. University of South Dakota biomedical engineers Yuyu Sun and Jie Luo coated Kevlar with germ-resistant chemicals called N-halamines. The idea is to prevent germs from sticking to the fabric and infecting the wearer long after the initial exposure. Sun explains.

YUYU SUN (University of South Dakota):
My long term research goal is to develop something that can be multi-protective.

In lab experiments, the coating killed off bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores within minutes to hours, while the same bugs stuck to the untreated fabric. The coated fabric would ultimately be combined with masks, gloves, and other filters. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.