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September 29th, 2007
The approach of flu season sends many people scurrying for vaccinations and vitamins. But what if you could avoid the flu and other viruses simply by getting dressed? That's the idea behind two garments that are part of the "Glitterati" clothing line designed by Olivia Ong, a senior design major at Cornell University. The two-tone gold dress and metallic jacket made their debut at the Cornell Design League fashion show on April 21.
It's not the casually stylish appearance of the dress and jacket that has attracted attention from clothing manufacturers, tech blogs and even military research labs, but rather something that can't be seen: a sprinkling of nanoparticles intended to protect the wearers of these garments from invisible threats to their health. The upper part of the dress is made from cotton coated with silver nanoparticles that deactivate bacteria and viruses. The jacket's hood, sleeves and pockets contain palladium nanoparticles that act like tiny catalytic converters to break down harmful components of air pollution.
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