Healthcare-associated infections cause millions of hospitalizations and cost billions of dollars every year. A potential solution to address this problem is to develop antimicrobial textiles for healthcare fabrics (hospital bedding, gowns, lab coats, etc.). Metal nanoparticle-coated textile has been proven to possess antimicrobial properties but has not been adopted by healthcare facilities due to risks of leaching and subsequent loss of function, toxicity, and environmental pollution. This work presents the development and testing of antimicrobial zinc nanocomposite textiles, fabricated using a novel Crescoating process. In this process, zinc nanoparticles are grown in situ within the bulk of different natural and synthetic fabrics to form safe and durable nanocomposites. The zinc nanocomposite textiles show an unprecedented microbial reduction of 99.99% (4 log10) to 99.9999% (6 log10) within 24 h on the most common Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and fungal pathogens. Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity remains intact even after 100 laundry cycles, demonstrating the high longevity and durability of the textile. Independent dermatological evaluation confirmed that the novel textile is non-irritating and hypoallergenic.

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