Daylight-driven rechargeable antibacterial and antiviral nanofibrous membranes for bioprotective applications

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Science Advances  16 Mar 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 3, eaar5931
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar5931

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Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a significant burden on global economies and public health. Most present personal protective equipment used to prevent EID transmission and infections is typically devoid of antimicrobial activity. We report on green bioprotective nanofibrous membranes (RNMs) with rechargeable antibacterial and antiviral activities that can effectively produce biocidal reactive oxygen species (ROS) solely driven by the daylight. The premise of the design is that the photoactive RNMs can store the biocidal activity under light irradiation and readily release ROS under dim light or dark conditions, making the biocidal function “always online.” The resulting RNMs exhibit integrated properties of fast ROS production, ease of activity storing, long-term durability, robust breathability, interception of fine particles (>99%), and high bactericidal (>99.9999%) and virucidal (>99.999%) efficacy, which enabled to serve as a scalable biocidal layer for protective equipment by providing contact killing against pathogens either in aerosol or in liquid forms. The successful synthesis of these fascinating materials may provide new insights into the development of protection materials in a sustainable, self-recharging, and structurally adaptive form.

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