Home / News / Borås doctorate student creates luminescent textiles

Borås doctorate student creates luminescent textiles

Oct '20
Pic: University of Borås
Pic: University of Borås
A researcher at the University of Borås has succeeded in creating luminescent textiles using luminescence phenomena in nature, while pursuing her doctorate. Her work in textile technology can be useful in several areas since luminescent materials have a wide range of applications including in biomedicine, biosensors, safety, architecture and aesthetics.

The researcher has made the first successful attempt to create luminescent textiles with the help of luminescence phenomena in nature. "My study has proven that the concept works," Sweta Iyer, the researcher who pursued her doctorate at the University of Borås, says.

A neon-coloured fish swims vividly through the sea, lighting up the water. Iyer's doctoral thesis, “Luminescent textiles using biobased products – A bioinspired approach,” is based on there being living organisms in nature with properties that humans can benefit from in many ways. One example is how luminescence phenomena in nature, that is, bodies emitting invisible cold light, can be used to create luminescent textiles.

Iyer graduated with a Master's degree in physical chemistry from the University of Mumbai. After that she worked as researcher at several textile companies. "This gave me insight into both textile processes and the processing industry. The research field motivated me to go for a doctorate. The question that captured my interest was how new chemicals can be applied in textiles to achieve new functions. That question came to be the focus of my doctoral thesis," she says.

Iyer realised there was a gap to fill in the textile research field. "Bioluminescence phenomena in nature and their reaction mechanisms have been extensively studied in biology and biochemistry, but previously not applied to textiles.”

The purpose of the thesis was to create luminescent textiles with the help of biobased products. "The important research question was to understand the bioluminescent reaction mechanism that exists in different living organisms and the selection of the reaction system. This was important in order to make it possible to use the luminescent effects in textiles,” says Iyer.

The study was conducted using enzyme immobilisation and eco-technology methods such as plasma treatment. And the results were positive. "Along with the use of conventional dyeing and printing methods, even resource-efficient methods such as inkjet and chromojet printing have been successfully used.”

The luminescent materials have a wide range of applications ranging from biomedicine, biosensors, and safety to architecture and aesthetics. Multifunctional properties such as UV protection and antibacterial properties were also obtained.

"This research study is completely new when it comes to textile applications – but it goes much further than that. It has a large reach and gives new perspectives because textiles are used in almost every field of research," says Iyer.

Three universities - ENSAIT in France, Soochow University in China, and the University of Borås – were involved in the research.

"It gave me a lot of knowledge about research methods at different universities as well as a large scientific network. Learning about different cultures was also an interesting part of the programme,” says Iyer and adds "I hope that my work can contribute to the improvement and development of eco-efficient bio-inspired luminescent textiles in many different areas."

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

Leave your Comments

Pic: Fibroline
Euro Wipes, Fibroline collaborate for new products
Sabic, Fibertex to use recycled plastics for nonwovens

Follow us