Chitosan, a substance extracted from crustacean shells, has antibacterial and wound-healing properties. Although the fiber is considered a valuable material for functional clothing, chitosan is expensive and fragile. Additionally, the material easily generates static electricity during the spinning process.

A novel system from researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hung Hom, Hong Kong) spun the chitosan fibers into yarn before being woven or knitted into fabric.

When spinning chitosan fibers, the friction between the fibers and the spinning roller often generate static electricity, causing the fibers to break and cling around the roller. The researchers specially developed conductive spinning rollers to remove the static electricity generated on the fibers. The process reduced both waste and costs.

Test results showed that a greater number of chitosan within the yarns led to a higher ability to suppress microbial growth. To improve the healing of wounds, the chitosan material can be applied to wound dressings and bandages.

The invention won a gold medal at the 44th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva