Shocker! Japan firms’ electrifying fabric zaps bacteria

TOKYO (AFP) – It’s a shocking idea: a fabric that can produce small amounts of electricity powered by movement, allowing your clothing to zap microbes and bacteria as you go about your day.

A pair of Japanese firms said that’s exactly what their new product can do, and are touting it for everything from curbing body odour to offering the ideal material for protective gear like face masks.

The fabric jointly developed by electronics company Murata Manufacturing and Teijin Frontier, dubbed PIECLEX, generates power from the expansion and contraction of the material itself, including when worn by someone moving around.

The low voltages aren’t strong enough to be felt by the wearer, but they effectively stop bacteria and viruses from multiplying inside the fabric, the companies said.

“It has been effective on 99.9 per cent of bacteria and viruses we tested, working to curb their proliferation or inactivate them,” a Murata spokeswoman told AFP yesterday.