Self-Cleaning Material Development Using New Photo Active Catalysts
Jennifer Edwards of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom will develop a low-cost material impregnated with a photo-active biocidal compound for producing reusable sanitary products that can be self-cleaned in the sun without the need for water or detergent. Many women and girls in low- and middle-income countries are unable to afford single-use sanitary pads or to properly clean reusable pads, which leads to many of them suffering from chronic infections. To address this, they have developed a series of non-toxic, metal and metal-oxide photoactive catalysts that produce reactive oxygen species when exposed to sunlight, and will test their ability to kill a range of bacterial and fungal pathogens, and to degrade other organic products, such as blood and odor. They will also evaluate cost-effective methods for incorporating them into different fabrics.