Washington, United States:
A specially formulated antimicrobial coating can keep surfaces from a human corona virus in one application for up to 90 days, according to a preliminary study on Friday that proposed a new line of defense against COVID-19.
The paper from researchers at the University of Arizona (UA), which has not yet been reviewed by experts, showed that the amount of virus on coated surfaces decreased by 90 percent in 10 minutes and by 99.9 percent in two hours.
Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the UA who was the lead author of the study, told AFP that the technology was "the next step in infection control".
"I think it's especially important for heavily used surfaces like subways and buses because you could disinfect them, but then the next people who come in will re-contaminate the surfaces," he said.
"It is not a substitute for regular cleaning and disinfection, but it covers you between regular disinfection and cleaning."
The UA team tested a coating that was specially developed against viruses and was developed by Allied BioScience, which also funded their study.
The researchers conducted their tests with the human coronavirus 229E, which is structurally and genetically similar to SARS-CoV-2, but only causes mild cold symptoms and is therefore safer to use.
The coating "denatures" the proteins of the virus – effectively twists them out of shape – and attacks its protective fat layer.
The colorless substance is sprayed onto surfaces and must be reapplied every three to four months.
The technology behind so-called self-disinfecting coatings has been around for almost a decade and was previously used in hospitals to fight the spread of infections, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A 2019 study by UA researchers found that coatings reduced hospital-acquired infections by 36 percent.
Gerba said that he and his colleagues as university professors discussed ways to make their environment safer for students when they return from locks, and that antimicrobial coatings on door handles and table tops would be useful.
"Many of them are being developed, but hopefully when we start to open everything, they will be ready."
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)