Reading aloud Scientists work on garments that continuously deliver active ingredients to their wearer's skin. This can treat skin diseases and prevent the formation of annoying odors. A special sugar molecule serves as a memory, which can be renewed again and again. Remedies and care products come in the form of tablets, drops, creams and sprays - and soon also for dressing. Scientists and the textile industry have made great strides in the development of nurturing and healing high-tech apparel in recent years. Many such "smart" garments therefore no longer exist only as an idea or prototype, but are already available on the market, for example a T-shirt from a Japanese manufacturer that delivers vitamin C to the skin.

In particular, the use of so-called cyclodextrins could drive this development even further. These special sugar molecules can be very firmly combined with textiles. You can store and distribute care products and medicines to the wearer of the garment. These ring-shaped breakdown products of starch are completely non-toxic and do not trigger allergic reactions.

The special thing about the cyclodextrins is that it can bring various active ingredients, such as cortisone or anti-fungal agents. As in a cage, these substances are trapped by these molecules and gradually released. "However, the cyclodextrins release these substances only on direct skin contact, " explains chemist Hans-Jürgen Buschmann, head of a working group at the German Textile Research Center North-West in Krefeld. Therefore, this technique works only with tight-fitting garments, such as underwear.

Due to the direct contact with the skin, these textiles are particularly suitable for the treatment of skin diseases. In particular, they could greatly facilitate the lives of the approximately five million neurodermatitis in Germany. But other skin diseases could be combated with such garments - provided that the cyclodextrins are loaded with the appropriate drugs. The glove for sensitive hairdressing hands seems to be as realizable as anti-fungal socks. There are many possibilities, and the need exists. display

"In principle, every type of fiber can be equipped with cyclodextrins, " explains Buschmann. The process is similar to the dyeing of textiles: The sugar molecules combine chemically with the fibers. Since they do not react with the fiber materials themselves, reactive substances are required. Special care requirements do not provide textiles equipped with cyclodextrins. They can be washed with ordinary detergents in the machine, and even cooked.

In addition, they are resistant to UV light and body fluids such as sweat, urine and blood. The situation is different with the content of these molecules. "With every wash, the substances in the cyclodextrins are lost, " explains Buschmann. But they can easily be refilled, for example by spraying them with the appropriate substance.

The fact that the cyclodextrins are refillable distinguishes them from other processes in which textiles are provided with conditioning substances. Already commercially available blouses and lingerie with Aleo Vera and also the vitamin C donating T-shirt lose their effect, for example, after about 30 washes. Empty cyclodextrins can also absorb substances from the environment and hold them until the next wash. There are already garments on the market where cyclodextrins are supposed to bind sweat and bad smells.

The men's outfitter Brinkmann from Herford, for example, offers a suit that always smells fresh. Even if his owner hangs all night in the bar, his colleagues can not "gripe" him thanks to the cyclodextrins. This suit is already available in stores. Garments with cyclodextrins, which are used for skin care and regeneration, will soon follow him.

When it comes to skin care products, it is not so accurate on the dosage, says Buschmann. This is different when it comes to medicines for many diseases. The cyclodextrins would have to release such drugs in a precisely defined amount. So far, scientists have not yet succeeded in solving this dosing problem. Therefore, it is unlikely that there will be any "dressing-in therapy" for such diseases in the foreseeable future. But for another reason, the chance that such healing textiles will soon be hanging in our wardrobes, low: According to Bushman, each of these garments would have to be approved only drug law. This is an expensive and expensive procedure.

ddp / science.de - Sonja chicken village

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