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Bacteriostatic photocatalytic properties of cotton modified with TiO2 and TiO2/aminopropyltriethoxysilane

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Abstract

A new route for the functionalization of cotton fibres with organic–inorganic hybrid materials is proposed using titanium tetraisopropoxide (TiP) and aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES). The antimicrobial and photocatalytic activities of the new cotton finishes based on titania and mixed titania/amino-silica hybrids were tested by monitoring the growth of Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) on the surfaces of functionalized fabrics under exposure to UV radiation and in the dark. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the amorphous nature of the hybrids and confirmed their similarity to other bactericidal aminofunctionalized polymers. Attenuated total reflection infrared spectra showed the protonated amino groups of the APTES in the TiP/APTES hybrid and the presence of Si–O–Ti bonding within the sol–gel hybrids between silica and titania by analogy with previous transmission and ATR infrared studies. Several analytical techniques were employed to establish the presence of the TiP and TiP/APTES modified cotton fibres. ATR measurements proved to be a very useful tool to study also the silane/–C–OH interactions between the hybrid materials and the cotton fibres, revealing the presence of covalent (i.e., –Si–O–C–) bonding with the OH functional group of cellulose. The advantages of the cotton finishes were demonstrated by the measured photocatalytic bacteriostatic effect, which persisted even after 15 washings; in contrast, the aminofunctionalized polymeric finishes, only showed a sufficient bacteriostatic effect. Furthermore, the TiP finishes were photocatalytically active, while the TiP/APTES finishes were not. The ultraviolet protective factor, degree of polymerization of the finished cotton samples were also investigated and revealed the suitability of the proposed method.

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Acknowledgments

Authors dedicate this article to doc. Dr. Vojmir Francetič who sadly passed away during the preparation of this work. This work was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (Programmes P2-0213 and P2-0393). The authors would like to thank dr. Urban Novak from the National Institute of Chemistry for performing the IR spectroscopic measurements.

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Tomšič, B., Jovanovski, V., Orel, B. et al. Bacteriostatic photocatalytic properties of cotton modified with TiO2 and TiO2/aminopropyltriethoxysilane. Cellulose 22, 3441–3463 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-015-0696-x

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