Spotlight on antimicrobial textile fibres dyeing monitoring
Sara Fateixa, Manon Wilhelm, Helena Nogueira and Tito Trindade win 2017 WITec Silver Paper Award with article in the field of microscopy and imaging.

Sara Fateixa, Manon Wilhelm, Helena Nogueira and Tito Trindade won the 2017 WITec Silver Paper Award. The award given to researchers from CICECO and the Department of Chemistry (DQ) acknowledged the team's excellent scientific work on the characterization of bionanocomposite substrates containing silver nanoparticles. The unprecedented work was preformed using confocal Raman microscopy techniques with WITec equipment.

Named "SERS and Raman imaging as a new tool for monitoring textile fiber dyeing" and published in Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, the work distinguished with the 2017 Silver Prize describes the use of Raman confocal microscopy in the characterization of bionanocomposite substrates containing silver nanoparticles, such as antimicrobial textiles. These awards (Golden, Silver and Bronze) recognize outstanding scientific papers, published in the previous year and using WITec equipment as part of their experimental setup. The criteria for analysing the potential impact of the results for the scientific community and the originality of the techniques.

The method developed by the researchers was used to analyse the dyeing processes of antimicrobial textiles using the Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) technique. In this study, the authors used linen fibres as substrates, but the described methodology can be applied to other fibres, or to other materials, such as cellulosic fibres (paper).

Indeed, the utility of the SERS spectroscopic technique, associated with the development of bionanocomposite materials, had been already been tested by CICECO researchers, using cellulosic substrates to detect several analytes, and some with biological interest.

The award-winning article was submitted to a competition by Helena Nogueira on behalf of the research team, as the authors considered it to be a study that amplifies the potential of Raman spectroscopy by resorting to recent developments in microscopy and imaging techniques. In addition to the confirmation of originality, the company highlighted the potential of applicability in industry.

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