Researchers to Work on Virus-Specific Coating
University of Central Florida researchers are working to create a protective coating that would specifically target and kill the COVID-19 virus.
Sudipta Seal, an engineer specializing in material science and nanotechnology, and Griffith Parks, a virologist who leads research efforts at UCF’s College of Medicine are working on the project funded by the National Science Foundation, which approved the research proposal in a rapid review process.
About the Research
“Why not come up with a protective film made of nanostructures that could catch and kill the virus?” Seal said. “I could come up with the nanoparticles, I was sure, but would the concept work with a virus? I called Dr. Parks and yes, he thought it could work.”
The plan is to create nanostructures to capture the virus and then trigger a chemical reaction using ultraviolet light to kill it.
The nanostructures will be created at UCF’s main campus and then shipped to Parks’ lab at the College of Medicine for tests to see which materials kill specific viruses and how fast.
“I make the recipe and Dr. Parks checks against his dictionary of viruses,” Seal said. “The viruses are similar in their RNA and DNA structure to the coronavirus, but not as contagious or lethal. If it works on these closely related viruses, then we go the next step.”
Because Parks’ lab isn’t Biohazard Safety 3 certified, however, he cannot test using COVID-19, however, if the material proves effective at killing other viruses in the coronavirus family, UCF will then send the material to a certified outside lab.
Should the research be successful, the goal would be to add the coating to healthcare services materials such as masks, gowns, gloves and more.
Other Coatings Findings
Research at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, just revealed a new self-sanitizing surface coating that aims to help address infection control in hospitals, food processing plants, public transportation and other commercial places.
The antimicrobial coating technology was created by PhD student Michael Lucas.
The unique features of Lucas' research, according to the university, include the novelty of multi-step and multi-process additive manufacturing through the use of cold spray and polymer 3D printing.
These techniques offer design freedom and manufacturing versatility, which means that manufactured parts can be retrofitted into existing hospital surfaces.
The coatings are made from various metals with known antimicrobial properties, including combinations of copper, silver and zinc.
View all of PaintSquare Daily News' coverage on COVID-19, here.