In this study, fabrication of polymer and cotton fabric exhibiting stimuli-responsive wetting and water vapor permeability features together with antibacterial activity was aimed.
Temperature and pH-responsive poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide-graft-chitosan) (PNIPAM-g-CS) copolymer were produced via the free radical addition polymerization method and fixed to the cotton fabric using butane tetracarboxylic acid (BTCA) cross-linker by double-bath impregnation method. The chemical structure of the graft copolymer was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) spectroscopy and H-Nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) analyses. Thermo-responsive behavior of the fabric was investigated by wetting time and water uptake tests, contact angle measurement and surface energy calculation. Additionally, antibacterial activity of the fabric treated with copolymer was studied against S. aureus bacterium.
PNIPAM-g-CS graft copolymer was synthesized successfully, which had lower critical solution temperature (LCST) value of 32 °C and exhibited thermo-responsive property. The treated fabrics exhibited hydrophilic character at temperatures below the LCST and hydrophobic character at temperatures above the LCST. It was found that polymer-coated fabric could have regulated the water vapor permeability by the change in its pore size and hydrophilicity depending on the temperature. Additionally, treated fabric displayed a pH-responsive water absorption behavior and strong antibacterial activity against S.aureus bacterium.
In the study, it has been shown that the cotton fabrics can be fabricated which have antibacterial activity and capable of pH and temperature responsive smart moisture/water management by application of copolymer. It is thought that the fabric structures developed in the study will be promising in the production of medical textile structures where antibacterial activity and thermophysiological comfort are important.
Funding: This work was financially supported by the Suleyman Demirel University (Project No: 4486-D2-16).
Demirbağ Genç, S. and Alay-Aksoy, S. (2022), "Production of CS-g-PNIPAM copolymer and stimuli responsive and antibacterial cotton fabric", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 852-868. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCST-08-2021-0105
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