HK scientists say new antiviral coating can protect surfaces for 90 days

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Researchers at a Hong Kong university say they have developed an antiviral coating which could provide 90 days of “significant” protection against bacteria and viruses such as the one causing COVID-19.

The coating, called MAP-1, took 10 years to develop and can be sprayed on surfaces that are frequently used by the public, such as elevator buttons and handrails, researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) say.

“These places are frequently touched, and, at the same time, serve as a very effective medium for transmission of diseases,” said HKUST Adjunct Professor Joseph Kwan, one of the chief researchers in the team that developed the product.

The coating that forms after spraying has millions of nano-capsules containing disinfectants, which Kwan says remain effective in killing bacteria, viruses and spores even after the coating has dried.

Unlike common disinfecting methods such as diluted bleach and alcohol, MAP-1 is further boosted by heat-sensitive polymers that encapsulate and release disinfectants upon human contact, Kwan said.

The essence of new coating technology lies with the creation of surface moieties that actively disrupts the microbial envelope and biomolecules, rendering the microorganisms nonviable upon contact. The coating also prevents microbial adhesion on the surface and thus keeping it clean from microbial contaminants. Using a special blend of antimicrobial polymers, the new coating effectively kills up to 99.99 per cent of bacteria and viruses through contact killing and anti-adhesion technology, including Rubella, avian influenza, H1N1 and FCV – a non-enveloped virus which is among the hardest to kill. According to U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) guideline in 2016, being effective against FCV is equivalent to being able to inactivate the coronavirus – an enveloped virus which are easier to sterilize than the non-enveloped ones.

Read more via HKUST

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