Cary company’s silver-laced fiber could help prevent spread of bacteria

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CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – A Cary company is working to take the smell and germs out of the clothes you wear.

PurThread Technologies is designing clothes for medical use that may one day lessen the spread of germs, disease and odors.

“Right now what we have are some very intriguing research data from the University of Arizona that suggests … that our particular fibers using the PurThread technology actually prevented colonization by some of the most problematic organisms, including MRSA, E. coli and salmonella,” said Dr. Russell Greenfield, medical director for PurThread Technologies. “So we think the application for this is going to be quite widespread.”

The thread in PurThread’s shirts are laced with silver salt, a natural enemy to germs and bacteria that cause disease and odors. The application could prevent the spread of bacteria in hospitals and every day settings. Greenfield said it could also be used by the military and in sports.

“The silver is embedded in the polyester fibers,” Greenfield explained. “The silver slowly leaches out when it gets wet from the bacterial culture.”

The University of Arizona study found that were shown to kill 99.99 percent of bacteria within four hours of contact.

While garments with PurThread technology are not yet in stores, the company donated 1,500 sets of medical scrubs and 400 privacy curtains to Samaritan’s Purse, a Boone-based humanitarian organization that provides aid to people in more than 100 countries around the world.

The company hopes to get its clothing to market in early 2016.

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