Portuguese researchers are working to create a special impregnation for shoes, which will permanently eliminate the unpleasant odor of the feet.
According to Joana Amaral, who presented work at the Chemical Congress in Prague, it is planned to create the desired substance on the basis of chitosan, a polysaccharide that forms the basis of shellfish shells and is very similar to chitin, a much wider known component of the insect exoskeleton. It can also be obtained from chitin by simple deacylation.
In her presentation, Amaral described how the warm and humid conditions that inevitably occur inside the shoe during use create an excellent environment for the development of fungi and bacteria. The result is not limited to the smell: the growth of microbes shortens the life of the shoes, some of them can "spread" to the feet themselves. However, you can get rid of all this by starting with the same smell - thanks to chitosan. The fact is that at low (acidic) pH values, chitosan is protonated and acquires a positive charge, which allows it to bind to negatively charged cell walls - which provides antimicrobial properties.
Amaral and her colleagues have shown that chitosan molecules can be incorporated into leather for shoe dyeing, as a solution. The technology requires the use of formic acid, which allows chitosan to go into solution, and then into the pores of the leather, giving it antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. In addition, it was shown that pieces of such treated leather really have an antimicrobial effect: in Petri dishes with cultures of three different bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus), areas of suppression of the growth of microbial cells were formed around them, according to Popular Mechanics.
Scientists are sure that after improving the methods of impregnation, they will be able to achieve that the treatment of the leather with only one percent solution of chitosan, which is present inside hydrophobic microcapsules, will have a sufficient effect. Microcapsules from aromatic oils will also give the leather a pleasant smell for a long time.
Previously, scientists discovered a rare mushroom that can turn modern medicine over. It was found on pony dung in a Norfolk forest. We are talking about the fungus Poronia punctata. According to scientists, this discovery is of significant value. Previously, this fungus was recorded only in the New Forest area. So, experts were interested in how this fungus competes with bacteria, producing special antibiotics. It is known that this fungus propagates only on dried manure of ponies that feed on environmentally friendly grass. It is reported by rosbalt.ru.