The low voltages aren’t strong enough to be felt by the wearer, but they effectively stop bacteria and viruses from multiplying inside the fabric, the companies said.
“It has been effective on 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses we tested, working to curb their proliferation or inactivate them,” a Murata spokeswoman told AFP on Friday.
The firms say the fabric has already shown promise for products like sportswear, sanitary items including diapers and masks, and for use in filters in industrial products.
They are now hoping to test whether the fabric can take on a particularly potent foe: the new coronavirus.
But testing is proving a challenge, with strict limits on the institutions that are allowed to handle the infectious disease.