Researchers Get Funding for Antiviral Coating


Researchers from the University of Liverpool have been awarded 615,000 pounds (roughly $809,235) in funding to develop a new antiviral coating for PPE in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding was awarded by U.K. Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Project

Led by Raechelle D’Sa and Jenny Hanson, from the University’s School of Engineering, the research aims to develop a new coating with both antiviral and antifouling properties that can be applied to PPE surfaces.

The project will also look at how long the COVID-19 virus survives on PPE surfaces, both coated and not coated, under a wide range of conditions.

While PPE is said to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19, there are growing concerns of the risk of transmission when putting on and taking off said PPE, in addition to the impact on the environment when using single-use measures.

“This project will use our expertise to produce an innovative new antiviral and antifouling coating which can be used on PPE to protect staff working in healthcare settings,” D’Sa said.

“This is a potential low-cost technology solution, that once proven can be taken forward in a relatively short timescale to provide additional protection from COVID-19 to healthcare workers.”

The project involves co-investigators from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Toronto.

Other PPE Coatings

In August, tests carried out by University of Toronto scientists reportedly showed 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.

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.

Previous Research

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

Also in August, 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.

In the month prior, 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: Antifoulants; Anti-microbial; Coatings Technology; COVID-19; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EU; Health and safety; Personal protective equipment; Research and development; Safety

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