Italy's RadiciGroup is to supply yarns to a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund which aims to make an innovative range of anti-microbial fabrics for use in the healthcare field.

Two companies in the group's fibres business - Noyfil SpA (Italy) and Noyfil SA (Switzerland) - will be involved in the Amicrotex project.

They will provide the research with 'Starlight feel' polyester bacteriostatic yarn, which is manufactured using nanoparticle technology that incorporates silicon dioxide into the yarn during extrusion - and thus into the fabric when it is woven. The silver metal particles serve as a reservoir of silver ions that are the actual active agents against bacteria.

This week the Amicrotex project has produced the first few metres of antibacterial fabric, which have been tested at Centro Tessile Cotoniero e Abbigliamento SpA and Istituto San Raffaele.

Testing of antimicrobial activity after repeated washing and industrial bleaching is now in progress, and the first hospital coats are also being made for testing in a hospital environment.