In one hour, professor’s surface coating inactivates virus that causes COVID-19
Doorknobs, light switches, shopping carts. Fear runs rampant nowadays when it comes to touching common surfaces because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
A Virginia Tech professor has found a solution.
Since mid-March, William Ducker, a chemical engineering professor, has developed a surface coating that when painted on common objects, inactivates SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“The idea is when the droplets land on a solid object, the virus within the droplets will be inactivated,” Ducker said.
Since mid-April, Ducker has been working with Leo Poon, a professor and researcher at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health, to test the film’s success at inactivating the virus. Their research was published July 13 in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, a scientific journal for chemists, engineers, biologists, and physicists.
The results of the tests have been outstanding, Ducker said. When the coating is painted on glass or stainless steel, the amount of virus is reduced by 99.9 percent in one hour, compared to the uncoated sample.
“One hour is the shortest period that we have tested so far, and tests at shorter periods are ongoing,” Ducker said.
His expectation is that his team can inactivate the virus in minutes. Results have shown that the coating is robust. It does not peel off after being slashed with a razor blade. It also retains its ability to inactivate the virus after multiple rounds of being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and then disinfection or after being submerged in water for a week, based on the tests.
If the project’s success continues, it is a significant discovery in fighting the virus’ spread.
“Everybody is worried about touching objects that may have the coronavirus,” said Ducker, who recalled that his wife, in March, questioned whether she should sit on a park bench during the pandemic. “It would help people to relax a little bit.”
To learn more, check out the whole article below.