Canadian Scientists Develop New Mask Coating

THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2020


Tests carried out by University of Toronto scientists have reportedly shown that an antimicrobial coating developed by Quebec company I3 BioMedical Inc. can deactivate more than 99% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The coating is being used on the outer surface of medical masks.

The scientists, led by professor Scott Gray-Owen of the department of molecular genetics in the Faculty of Medicine, found that the coating deactivated more than 99% of SARS-CoV-2 within minutes.

“A big challenge for most people in the population who usually never wear surgical masks is comfort and fit. Because of this, people tend to be constantly adjusting their masks,” said Gray-Owen. “So they’re either contaminating their hands or, if their hands are contaminated, they’re contaminating a mask that’s close to their face and maybe even depositing the virus there, which they might then inhale.”

Gray-Owen added that the proprietary coating had previously been demonstrated to kill most microbes on contact, and was shown to remain directly coupled to the outside surfaces of masks rather than leach out into the environment or onto the skin of wearers. The tests were then extended to include SARS-CoV-2.

When the antimicrobial coating was present on the masks, “we could not recover any infectious virus from the suspension that had been applied to the mask,” said Gray-Owen.

“We repeated the tests and this was a reproducible finding, so it was pretty clear that there was a difference between TrioMed-coated and non-coated material.”

Previous Research

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

Earlier this month, a chemical engineering professor at Virginia Tech announced that he has developed his own coating—meant for glass or stainless steel—that inactivates the virus within an hour.

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.

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The scientists, led by professor Scott Gray-Owen of the department of molecular genetics in the Faculty of Medicine, found that the coating deactivated more than 99% of SARS-CoV-2 within minutes.

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: Coatings Technology; Coatings technology; COVID-19; NA; North America; Research and development

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