Currently, the existing anti-microbial textiles in the market is metal-based, i.e., they are coated with silver, copper or zinc which act as antimicrobial agents.
But the process is expensive, and the products' potential leaches over time along with the depleting efficacy of the metallic coating.
"The metal-based textiles work on the principles of leaching. Their active ingredients efficiency drops over time. Also, their residues can be an environmental hazard. In fact, zinc and silver take time to get active after exposure to microbial agents. Silver, for example, takes about an hour," reveals Dr Anand.
In 2014, Tirupur-based Shakthi Knitting Limited (SKL), a manufacturer and exporter of apparel solutions, spun-off its healthcare start-up SKL Medtech, with a mission to provide innovative healthcare solutions by offering medical and protective textiles. SKL Medtech is currently being accelerated at EVA in Bangalore.