Texas Tech University

Abidi part of research team receiving Presidents' Innovative Startup Award

Norman Martin

October 10, 2023

The Texas Tech Innovation Hub at Research Park's 2023 Presidents' Innovative Startup Program this month awarded $25,000 to New American Fabric, a startup supporting agricultural technology that includes as part of its development team, Noureddine Abidi, Texas Tech's Leidigh Professor in the Department of Plant & Soil Science and Director of the university's Fiber & Biopolymer Research Institute.

The NAF technology is based on a new selenium technology, which can be covalently attached to cotton making the material antimicrobial yet safe for human use. The founding team members include Abidi, along with TTUHSC's Phat Tran and Ted Reid, and Nick Bergfeld, an Innovation Hub ITTU Mentor.

“We were able to customize an antimicrobial chemical compound that reacts with cotton cellulose using either the traditional dyeing process or the traditional chemical crosslinking approach,” Abidi said. “When applied to cotton fabric using a simple approach, the fabric possesses antimicrobial properties.”

Applications of the finished fabric include socks, gauzes and medical textiles, he said. Further research is needed to study the durability of the treatment and to produce samples for real world applications. In the past Abidi's research has focused on the creation of antimicrobial textiles by applying silver nanoparticles and self-cleaned textiles by applying titania dioxide nanoparticles. His focus now is on the chemical transformation of biomass to bioproducts.

Abidi has a strong history of creative research. Recent honors include the TTU Innovation Hub at Research Park Prototype Fund Award (2022); President's Excellence in Commercialization Award (2021), and the Discover Natural Fibres Initiative Innovation Award (2020) for his work and the patent received for his discovery of changing low-grade cotton to a cellulose gel that can be used in a wide variety of ways. He holds a doctorate in theoretical, physical and analytical chemistry from the University of Montpellier II in France.


This story was first published in the Davis College NewsCenter. See the original article here.