UNISTAn industry-academia team in South Korea has effectively used pigment from bacteria found in nature to develop superbug resistant fabrics. A team of institute-industry partners affiliated with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) involving Korean Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology, industrial partner, Yeejoo Company and UNIST has used bacterial pigment “Violacein,” to impart antimicrobial properties.
Violacein, an indole derivative is a violet pigment made by naturally occurring bacteria such as those belonging to genus such as Chromobacterium. Violacein has been reported to have antimicrobial and antiparasital properties in microbiology related literature.
The bacterial pigment was coated to the fabric and has been reported to have good efficacy to MRSA and multi drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The coated fabrics inhibited the growth of MRSA and other supebugs by 99.9 percentage, according to UNIST. The work could be first of its kind to effectively utilize bacterial pigment as a coating agent on fabrics to impart antimicrobial properties. The Korean team has developed prototype face masks and they are currently being put to use in a local hospital in Ulsan city, South Korea. UNIST is a young national University in South Korea with emphasis on science and technology established in the year, 2007 in Ulsan city.