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Microfibres are still relatively new to the cleaning industry but now a great deal of research is taking place on production and implementation of nanofibres.

Nanofibres are traditionally defined as cylindrical structures having an outer diameter below 1000 nm and an aspect ratio (the ratio between length and width) greater than 50. Over the years, several types of nanofibres have been developed: polymeric, carbon, ceramic, glass, metallic, and composite.

Nanofibres have current and potential use in a large variety of applications, i.e., electronics, mechanical, chemical, sensors and instrumentation, energy, medical, bioengineering, automotive, aerospace, thermal and acoustic insulation, consumer, and defence and security.

One exciting report I read recently stated:

"Forget about gold nanospheres. The hot new drug-delivery technology involves nanodiamonds, say Northwestern University researchers. Functionalized, aggregated clusters of the material isolate chemotherapy drugs, delivering medications to cancerous growths without exposing normal cells. Because the nanodiamonds are highly ordered, they do not cause inflammation in normal body tissues."

The successful development of this particular implementation has the potential to greatly alleviate the side effects of cancer treatment and it is only right and proper that the main developmental thrust should be in such areas but who knows what offshoots of this and similar research might find their way into the chemicals that we use on a daily basis - a spotting agent with the ability to safely remove dye-added stains, whilst protecting the native dye of textiles, maybe?

I may not be around to use such products but it does not take the greatest stretch of imagination to think that some of today's young cleaners might some day be using nanotechnology that outstrips M-Power.

John Bolton MBICSC © 2007 Solution UK Ltd.