New Research Aims to Create UV Light Activated Coating on Mask to Catch and Kill Coronavirus

A research team consisting of material science and nanotechnology specialist and virologist is working on developing a protective film based on nanostructure as a novel mask material to diminish virus and protect healthcare professionals from infection.

Sudipta Seal, an engineer specializing in material science and nanotechnology, initiated a project with Griffith Parks, a virologist at College of Medicine of University of Central Florida (UCF) to create nanostructures that can capture the virus and then trigger a chemical reaction using UV light to destroy it. The scientists said that if successful, the coating could be added to masks, gloves and gowns, which could keep healthcare providers safer as they battle COVID-19.

(Griffith Parks, UCF Professor; image: UCF College of Medicine)

After the materials created, they will be put through a battery of tests to see which materials kill specific viruses and how fast. While one material might kill all viruses, the researchers expects that some materials will work better on particular types of viruses. The team aims to use the results to tailor the materials in the future for a specific outbreak by a specific virus type. If the project goes as planned, researchers hope to develop materials that can also kill disease-causing organisms such as bacteria.

However, the laboratory of the researchers is not qualified to test the actual COVID-19 virus. The team thus hops to prove effective at killing viruses in the coronavirus family and then they will send it to a certified lab for further testing in order to get approval to be used in the field.

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