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Sustainable personal protective clothing for healthcare applications: A review

Karim, Nazmul; Afroj, Shaila; Lloyd, Kate; Clarke Oaten, Laura; Andreeva, Daria V.; Carr, Chris; Farmery, Andrew D.; Kim, Il-Doo; Novoselov, Kostya S.

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Nazmul Karim

Shaila Afroj

Kate Lloyd

Laura Clarke Oaten

Daria V. Andreeva

Chris Carr

Andrew D. Farmery

Il-Doo Kim

Kostya S. Novoselov


Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to protect healthcare workers (HCWs) from highly infectious diseases such as COVID-19. However, hospitals have been at risk of running out of the safe and effective PPE including personal protective clothing needed to treat patients with COVID-19, due to unprecedented global demand. In addition, there are only limited manufacturing facilities of such clothing available worldwide, due to a lack of available knowledge about relevant technologies, ineffective supply chains, and stringent regulatory requirements. Therefore, there remains a clear unmet need for coordinating the actions and efforts from scientists, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, and regulatory bodies to develop and produce safe and effective protective clothing using the technologies that are locally available around the world. In this review, we discuss currently used PPE, their quality, and the associated regulatory standards. We survey the current state-of-the-art antimicrobial functional finishes on fabrics to protect the wearer against viruses and bacteria and provide an overview of protective medical fabric manufacturing techniques, their supply chains, and the environmental impacts of current single-use synthetic fiber-based protective clothing. Finally, we discuss future research directions, which include increasing efficiency, safety, and availability of personal protective clothing worldwide without conferring environmental problems.


Karim, N., Afroj, S., Lloyd, K., Clarke Oaten, L., Andreeva, D. V., Carr, C., …Novoselov, K. S. (2020). Sustainable personal protective clothing for healthcare applications: A review. ACS Nano, 14(10), 12313-12340.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 31, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2020
Publication Date Oct 27, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 3, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 1, 2021
Journal ACS Nano
Print ISSN 1936-0851
Electronic ISSN 1936-086X
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 10
Pages 12313-12340
Keywords General Engineering; General Physics and Astronomy; General Materials Science
Public URL


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