Research Looks at Coating to Inactivate Virus


Chemical engineering professor at Virginia Tech, William Ducker, says that he has found a solution to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The answer? A coating that Ducker says inactivates the virus in one hour.

The Research

“The idea is when the droplets land on a solid object, the virus within the droplets will be inactivated,” said Ducker, who has reportedly been developing a coating since mid-March.

In April, Ducker began working with Leo Poon, a professor and researcher at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health, to test the film’s success at inactivating the virus. Their research was published July 13 in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

So far, when the coating is applied to glass or stainless steel, the amount of the virus that is reduced by 99.9% within one hour—and the team is now testing for shorter periods.

The goal is to render the virus inactive within minutes.

According to Virginia Tech, the coating is durable and is able to retain its antiviral properties after being exposed to the virus multiple times, as well as the disinfecting process.

“Everybody is worried about touching objects that may have the coronavirus,” said Ducker, who recalled that his wife, in March, questioned whether she should sit on a park bench during the pandemic. “It would help people to relax a little bit.”

Ducker says that he now hopes to gain funding for production.

Other Research

This is the latest in a slew  of a rush to research ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, multiple breakthroughs were announced that included an omniphobic coating out of the Okanagan Polymer Engineering Research and Applications Lab (OPERA), at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, aimed at protecting face shields, and an antiviral coating from the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology within the University of Waterloo that aims to “kill the COVID-19 virus immediately upon contact.”

In June, 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.

View all of PaintSquare Daily News' coverage on COVID-19, here.


Tagged categories: Anti-microbial; AS; Asia Pacific; Coatings Technology; Coatings Technology; COVID-19; Health and safety; NA; North America; Research and development; Safety

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