AAASs in vitro cotton model after incorporation of exogenous molecules with new functionalities

AAAS's in vitro cotton model after incorporation of exogenous molecules with new functionalities

Researchers have released a new study that shows cotton could be grown incorporating molecules to give effects like fluorescence or magnetism without the need to apply additional chemical treatments.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has published a new report showing the addition of synthesised glucose derivatives deliver the desirable molecules into the growing ovules of the cotton plant.

This means the molecules are embedded into the cotton fibres themselves, rather than added in the form of a chemical treatment. The resulting fibres exhibited fluorescent or magnetic properties,  although they were weaker than raw fibres lacking the embedded composites, the authors reported. 

The development sees the industry move a step closer to fixing the issue of properties that are added to fabrics being washed or worn away.

The study Biological Fabrication of Cellulose Fibers with Tailored Properties study proposes similar techniques could be expanded to other biological systems such as bacteria, bamboo, silk and flax.