Type 1 Pilot Action:
ORTNER Reinraumtechnik GmbH, 
Immobilization of porphyrin dyes on PET and cotton fabrics

Goal: The aim was the functionalization of textile fabrics with active porphyrin dyes to achieve a photodynamic disinfection. Both synthetic and natural fibers were of interest. The mechanism and applicability of selected coupling and coating techniques were to be investigated, aiming at a technical production of such garments at a later stage.

Approach: Studies on the immobilization of photodynamically active porphyrin dyes on PET tissue were carried out in the laboratory. This included, on the one hand, the direct coupling of the dyes to PET fabric after prior activation of the fabric. There was also a coating investigated, which is suitable for binding a porphyrin dye and can be applied to a PET fabric. In a large part of this study, a method was developed to use cotton as an alternative fabric and to covalently couple different porphyrin dyes to cotton.

Results: Within this Type 1 pilot action, coupling variants of porphyrin dyes on PET fabric were tested. Basic information on the composition of effective coatings for PET fabrics was obtained. A very important result was the fundamental development of a process for functionalizing cotton with photodynamically active dyes. New knowledge on the procurement and production of such dyes (through organic synthesis chemistry) was also obtained, which is crucial for the commercialization of this technology for disinfection strategies.


Figure 1: Successful and durable immobilization of a porphyrin dye on cotton fabric. The hydrophobic character of the functionalized fabric is shown by the high contact angle of water as a test liquid

Involved Partners: MUL, PCCL