Polymer-based, antiviral coating may kill pathogens on face masks and gloves to prevent surface-to-surface contamination
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed an innovative nano-coating designed to capture and kill viruses on PPEs and other medical equipment. For example, the invention may be used to target SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The multilayer, polymer-based conformal coating can be applied to existing PPEs such as gloves, gowns, facemasks and disposable medical equipment made of various materials. Also, manufacturers can apply the coating to new equipment.
Without the ability to inactivate viral pathogens, current PPEs serve only as physical barriers against disease, unable to fully protect medical workers and patients from infection. Shortages of PPEs compound the problem by requiring the potentially unsafe reuse of such equipment. The UCF nano-coating resolves these critical issues by enabling different surfaces on PPEs and medical equipment to capture and kill viruses. Additionally, the coating could be reapplied to surfaces to allow equipment reuse and mitigate PPE shortages.
The UCF invention is a nano-coating platform that consists of alternating layers of cationic and anionic polymers. The invention also includes methods for producing the multilayer coating. One example platform setup comprises a cationic nanoparticle layer grafted with oligomeric species that bind strongly to the surface of a virus, such as the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Thus, the composition enables the coating to “capture” the virus. The anionic nanoparticle layer contains two types of nanoparticles. One type of nanoparticle may up-convert natural/white light to ultraviolet light to emit local ionizing radiation that damages the genetic material of the virus. Another type of nanoparticle is hollow and could hold antiviral medications to “kill” the bound virus species.
The research team is looking for partners to develop the technology further for commercialization.
- Adheres to new or existing medical PPEs to bind and inactivate virus species
- Usable with varied material compositions such as polymers, ceramics, metals and metal oxides
- Coating may be reapplied to allow equipment reuse
- Advanced PPEs for COVID-19 and other pandemic response
- Reusable medical protective equipment
- Protective coating on medical devices