The use of lactams to inhibit biofilm growth in durable non-wovens


Within the nonwovens sector personal and household care, hygiene, medical and filtration products are

constantly challenged by microbial contamination. In durable nonwovens the hygiene problem is addressed

mostly through anti-microbials such as silver and quaternary ammonium compounds. However these present

environmental and toxicological risks, are of limited efficacy on biofilms, and also present a risk of increasing

microbial resistance. Recently the screening of a library of over 600 furanone derived lactams has revealed

variants that disrupt quorum sensing during biofilm growth and development. This feasibility project will

explore the application of these as anti-biofilm coatings on nonwoven textiles. Using different application

techniques during manufacture, analogues will be covalently and non-covalently bound within the matrices, or

at the surface, of polyolefin and cellulosic materials. The efficacy and durability of the antifouling coating on

nonwoven products will be explored and the possibility of a biotechnology platform that covers a range of

applications across durable nonwoven market segments will be assessed.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Unilever U.K. Central Resources Limited, Bedford £50,000 £ 25,000


University of Leeds, United Kingdom £49,999


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