Copper oxide impregnated textiles with potent biocidal activities

Jeffrey Gabbay, Gadi Borkow, Joseph Mishal, Eli Magen, Richard Zatcoff, Yonat Shemer-Avni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Impregnation or coating of cotton and polyester fibers with cationic copper endows them with potent broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimite properties (Borkow, G. and Gabbay, J. (2004). Putting Copper into Action: Copper-impregnated Products with Potent Biocidal Activities, FASEB Jounal, 18(14): 1728-1730). This durable platform technology enables the mass production of woven and non-woven fabrics, such as sheets, pillow covers, gowns, socks, air filters, mattress covers, carpets, etc. without the need of altering any industrial procedures or machinery, but only the introduction of copper oxide-treated fibers. The biocidal properties of fabrics containing 3-10% copper-impregnated fibers are permanent, are not affected by extreme washing conditions, and do not interfere with the manipulation of the final products (e.g., color, press, etc.). In this article, the authors describe data showing that (i) antifungal socks containing 10% w/ w (weight/weight) copper-impregnated fibers alleviate athlete's foot; (ii) antimicrobial fabrics (sheets) containing 10% (w/w) copper-impregnated fibers decrease bacterial colonization in a clinical setting; and (iii) these products do not have skin-sensitizing properties or any other adverse effects. Taken together, these results demonstrate the wide preventive and curative potential of copper oxide-impregnated apparel products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Industrial Textiles
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2006


  • Antibacterial
  • Athlete's foot
  • Biocidal
  • Copper oxide
  • Nosocomial infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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