Antimicrobial polymeric materials are usually produced by impregnating a polymer such as cellulose acetate—which is used to make surgical masks and hospital gowns—with an antimicrobial agent. But this method can limit contact between the antimicrobial and opportunistic microorganisms in part because the agent tends to have low compatibility with the polymer and clumps up, according to University of South Dakota biomedical engineer Yuyu Sun. As an alternative, Sun and colleagues dissolved a chloramine antimicrobial agent (Cl-BTMP) and cellulose acetate in a solvent and then used electrospinning to form composite nanofibers that were collected as a fabric (ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, DOI: 10.1021/am100018k). The researchers found that the antimicrobial agent was uniformly dispersed in the polymer and that the durable, nonleachable, and biocompatible electrospun fabric substantially outperformed control samples made by traditional methods from the same starting materials.