US professor develops surface coating that can kill COVID-19 coronavirus in one hour

Scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as novel coronavirus. (Reuters)

US professors at Virginia Tech have been able to develop a coating that can reduce the longevity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 coronavirus, on solid surfaces, according to a new study published.

The professors working at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University said their coating made up of cuprous oxide (Cu2O) particles bound with polyurethane can deactivate the coronavirus by 99.9 percent after one hour of coming into contact with the virus.

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A worker wearing personal protective equipment sprays disinfectant on a surface to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. (Reuters)

A worker wearing personal protective equipment sprays disinfectant on a surface to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. (Reuters)

“After one hour on coated glass or stainless steel, the viral titer was reduced by about 99.9% on average compared to the uncoated sample. An advantage of a polyurethane-based coating is that polyurethane is already used to coat a large number of everyday objects,” their study’s abstract, published in the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces scientific journal, read.

William Ducker, a chemical engineering professor at Virginia Tech and one of the researchers on the research project, has been working on the coating since mid-March.

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“The idea is when the droplets land on a solid object, the virus within the droplets will be inactivated,” Ducker told NBC 12. “One hour is the shortest period that we have tested so far, and tests at shorter periods are ongoing.”

The Virginia Tech professor reiterated that his coating material does not replace other precautionary measures in place - like social distancing and wearing facemasks - that are in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

said he hopes to attract funding in order to mass-produce the film but says it doesn’t replace other safety measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Research on the COVID-19 coronavirus has shown that it can be caught through breathing infected air or after touching contaminated objects.

More recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols.

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Last Update: Friday, 17 July 2020 KSA 07:43 - GMT 04:43
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