Self-cleaning nanofabric

CNN reports on the recently-announced invention of self-cleaning nano-coated fabric that's a leap beyond stain-resistant Dockers. The materials scientists at Hong Kong Polytechnic University coated cotton with nanoparticles of titanium dioxide. When subjected to ultraviolet light, the titanium dioxide produces an oxidizing agent that can break down dirt and other organic substances. According to researcher Walid A. Daoud, several companies have already come knocking.

"(The fabric will be useful for) military people, or travelers, people who go hiking, who don't have a lot of water and time to wash their clothes," he said. "This is a very good idea because then if the clothes get dirty, the dirt can be decomposed by the fabric itself. So after a few days in the sunshine, or even indoor light, the dirt will disappear."

As both BioED Online and CNN point out, the technology was prophesized in the 1951 film The Man in the White Suit starring Alec Guinness. Link