A T-shirt that that dramatically reduces the impact of body odours with the aid of nanotechnology has been produced by the Thai company United Textile Mills (UTM).

Silver nanoparticles are embedded in the fabric of the garment and are so small that they allow silver atoms to penetrate the fabric and attach strongly to the fibres, whereupon they suppress the ability of microbial cells to transfer odours.

The nano silver particles are created by producing silver atoms with a size of less than 100 nanometres.

UTM calculates that the garment stops bacterial growth by up to 90% and lasts for up to 50 wash cycles before its effects begin to be reduced.

Meanwhile, other companies, such as China-based Beijing Kuailu Knitting Company, are developing socks embedded with nano silver that, working on the same scientific principles, inhibits the growth of fungi that cause foot odours, Athlete's Foot, toe nail infections and heel cracks.

Sports socks are also being tested which contain molecular-scale sponges that absorb the hydrocarbons responsible for body odour that are released quickly and in great quantities during vigorous exercise.

By Mark Rowe.