You know the drill by now: wear your mask, wash your hands, and disinfect surfaces. However, you still have a fear in the back of your mind that the virus could have landed on your doorknob, your phone screen, or the bus rail you were holding onto.
A team of scientists from Virginia Tech has found the solution to quell your fears: a surface coating that eradicates the virus that causes COVID-19 in just one hour.
Their findings were published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
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“The idea is when the droplets land on a solid object, the virus within the droplets will be inactivated,” said William Ducker, chemical engineer professor at Virigina Tech and lead author of the study.
Ducker and his two colleagues made a surface coating that, once painted onto common surfaces and objects, inactivates COVID-19.
The team has also been working closely with Leo Poon, a professor and researcher from the Hong Kong School of Public Health. Ducker reached out to Poon as he is known for his work against SARS-CoV-1, the virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003 and 2004. Poon has also been active during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.
Ducker could not be more pleased with their findings. Once the coating is painted onto a glass or stainless steel surface or object, the amount of the virus is minimized by 99.9% in the space of an hour.
“One hour is the shortest period that we have tested so far, and tests at shorter periods are ongoing,” Ducker said. The team hopes to bring the time down to mere minutes.
Through their testing, Ducker and his team have created a robust coating. It doesn’t peel off, even after being slashed with a razor blade, it still eradicates the virus after multiple rounds of being exposed to it, and still manages to kill 99.9% of it after being submerged under water for a week.
The team is now looking to mass produce their coating.
This isn’t the first newly developed surface disinfectant against COVID-19 that’s been developed lately. Researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology have made a disinfectant that lasts up to 90 days once applied.