Scientists Develop Anti-Coronavirus Surface Coating
Researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel, recently announced that they are developing a novel surface coating that aims to “contain nanoparticles of safe metal ions and polymers with anti-viral and anti-microbial activity,” a route in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angel Porgador, from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics at Ben-Gurion University and the National Institute of Biotechnology in the Negev, and Mark Schvartzman, the Department of Materials Engineering at BGU, along with PhD students Yariv Greenshpan and Esti Toledo, and postdoc Guillaume Le Saux, participated in research that assessed the effect of surfaces coated with nanoparticles of various metals on the infectivity of lentiviruses, which belong to the HIV family, in human cells.
The researchers note that certain metals that aren’t poisonous to humans can be lethal to viruses and bacteria and, according to reports, the findings showed that surfaces coated with copper nanoparticles “strongly blocked infection of the cells by the virus.”
Based on the findings, the researchers are developing an anti-viral coating that can be painted or sprayed onto surfaces.
“The nanoparticles embedded in the polymer will enable controlled release of metal ions onto the coated surface,” according to the University.
“Studies show that these ions have a strong anti-viral effect, which can eradicate virus particles that adhere to the surface. Because the release of ions is extremely slow, the coating can be effective for a long period of time—weeks and even months, and it will reduce the infectivity of the virus particles by more than 10-fold.”
"The need to develop anti-viral coatings has greatly increased recently, with the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, and this need will likely remain high even after the pandemic ends, due to increased awareness,” said Josh Peleg, CEO of BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of BGU.
“In addition, the product will be efficient as a general anti-viral and anti-bacterial coating. It can be applicable for medical settings, as an anti-pathogenic substance in places with increased risk of contamination, such as hospitals, but also for home use, and in public spaces such as schools, airports, public transportation and cinemas. We see a widespread and multidisciplinary academic commitment for finding solutions to currently medical and financial challenges as well as to the challenge of returning to normalcy once the pandemic wanes."
The research has received support from the Israel Innovation Authority, which issued a call for proposals for coping with the coronavirus.
Recent Coatings Research
Teams from around the globe have been coming up with coatings solutions to the health crisis.
Earlier this month, researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology announced that they have developed a multilevel antimicrobial polymer (MAP-1) coating that they say is effective in killing viruses, bacteria and spores.
The coating reportedly prevents microbial adhesion on a surface by using the special blend of antimicrobial polymers, effectively killing “99.9% of bacteria and viruses.”
In April, University of Central Florida researchers announced that they are working to create a protective coating that would specifically target and kill the COVID-19 virus. 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 a lab at the College of Medicine for tests to see which materials kill specific viruses and how fast.
In March, research at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 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 unique features of that 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.
View all of PaintSquare Daily News' coverage on COVID-19, here.