BLACKSBURG, Va. (WWBT) – A Virginia Tech professor has created a surface coating that inactivates the virus that causes COVID-19.
William Ducker, a chemical engineering professor, has been working since mid-March to develop the coating that when painted on objects will inactivate 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.
Ducker has been working with Leo Poon, a professor and researcher at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health since mid-April to test the effectiveness of the coating’s success.
Their research was recently published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, a scientific journal.
Ducker said that when put on glass or stainless steel, the amount of virus is reduced by 99.9 percent in one hour.
“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 create something to inactivate the virus within 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,” a release from Virginia Tech said.
If the success of the project continues, it will be an important discovery used in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
“Everybody is worried about touching objects that may have the coronavirus,” said Ducker. “It would help people to relax a little bit.”
Ducker was already working on making films focused on killing bacteria, but as COVID-19 continued to spread, he switched gears to eradicate a virus.
“We have to use our chemical knowledge and experience of other viruses to guess what would kill it [SARS-CoV-2],” Ducker said.
Ducker said he hopes to attract funding in order to mass-produce the film but says it doesn’t replace other safety measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
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