Antiviral Coating Developing for Surface Contact
New research is underway at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology within the University of Waterloo to develop a coating that officials say aims to “kill the COVID-19 virus immediately upon contact with any surface.”
Researchers, who are collaborating with SiO2 Innovation Labs, are looking for the antiviral coating to be applied to surfaces such as personal protective equipment and high-touch surfaces.
“The COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces for 24 hours or more,” said Sushanta Mitra, Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and lead researcher on the project.
“In order to protect frontline workers and the general public, it’s important that the virus be neutralized immediately when it comes into contact with any surface; our work will culminate in the production of an anti-viral coating that will do just that.”
The coating creation has been a multi-step process, the university says, that combined a computational model and studies on different coating materials.
The team has reportedly developed an experimental set-up to quantify the adhesion force between the virus and the coated surface. Mitra is using water droplets to mimic the primary mode of transmission of COVID-19 between humans.
“Our history of creating and delivering safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly products is enabling us to meet this historical moment,” said Bruce Johnston, CTO at SiO2 Innovation Labs.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Professor Mitra and WIN in order to bring to market a surface coating that can neutralize pathogens quickly and their subsequent spread. Reduced infection rates will save lives and create safer environments in public and private spaces including homes, the workplace, schools, stores, public transit and hospitality venues.”
This is the latest in a long line of a rush to research ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most recently, last month, research out of Montreal’s Concordia University is looking into antiviral metallic and ceramic coatings as a way to slow the transmission of COVID-19.
In May, researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel, announced that they were also working with metals and 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 pandemic.
Based on their findings, they are developing an anti-viral coating that can be painted or sprayed onto surfaces.
Earlier in May, researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology announced that they had 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 were 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.
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