Applications of TiO2
In the pharmaceutical industry such as in medical centers, TiO2 is useful for self-cleaning and self-disinfecting surfaces. It could even be woven into fabrics and used in an antibacterial type of bandage to decrease the rate of infections in patients. Titanium dioxide is also more environmentally friendly due to its nontoxicity and even boasts other unique qualities such as being water repellent and has an antifogging effect on the surfaces it is applied.
How the antibacterial effect works
According to the studies it is believed that the metal oxides such as titanium carry a positive charge, while the microorganisms or bacteria carry a negative charge. This causes an electromagnetic attraction between the two leading oxidization and ultimately death for the bacteria.
TiO2 and cell phone protection
In recent years, products incorporating the science of nanotechnology have started to reach the regular consumer. Before it was mainly used in specialized industries such as in construction and paints manufacturing to create ultra smooth surfaces with very limited need for maintenance and cleaning. Only recently a new type of screen protector have started to appear, which incorporates the same type of TiO2 nanoparticles into a water-based liquid. NanoFixIt Inc. is creating screen protectors with 9H hardness (which is the hardness level just before a diamond) and also benefits from the antibacterial effect caused by the TiO2 particles.
The antibacterial effect is particularly relevant when it comes to our use of smartphones. It is not uncommon that people bring their phones to the toilet and they are only seldom cleaned after our fingers or other people's fingers have touched the screen. A study suggests our phones could carry as much as 10 times as many bacteria as what is found on a toilet seat, which could easily lead to nausea and stomach problems.
See also press release about NanoFixit antibacterial effect