Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Self-Cleaning Mats with Sensing Capabilities Based on Electrospun Nanofibers Decorated with ZnO Nanorods and Ag Nanoparticles for Protective Clothing Applications

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2021 Feb 3;13(4):5678-5690. doi: 10.1021/acsami.0c15606. Epub 2021 Jan 25.


The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown the importance of developments in fabrication of advanced protective equipment. This study investigates the potential of using multifunctional electrospun poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) nanofibers decorated with ZnO nanorods and Ag nanoparticles (PMMA/ZnO-Ag NFs) in protective mats. Herein, the PMMA/ZnO-Ag NFs with an average diameter of 450 nm were simply prepared on a nonwoven fabric by directly electrospinning from solutions containing PMMA, ZnO nanorods, and Ag nanoparticles. The novel material showed high performance with four functionalities (i) antibacterial agent for killing of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, (ii) antiviral agent for inhibition of corona and influenza viruses, (iii) photocatalyst for degradation of organic pollutants, enabling a self-cleaning protective mat, and (iv) reusable surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrate for quantitative analysis of trace pollutants on the nanofiber. This multi-functional material has high potential for use in protective clothing applications by providing passive and active protection pathways together with sensing capabilities.

Keywords: SERS; ZnO nanorods; antibacterial activity; antiviral activity; electrospun nanofibers; photocatalytic degradation; protective clothing; silver nanoparticles.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nanofibers / chemistry
  • Nanotubes / chemistry
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate / chemistry
  • Silver / chemistry*
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman
  • Zinc Oxide / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Silver
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Zinc Oxide