An antimicrobial coating, developed by Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, an autonomous institute under Department of Science and Technology (DST), can deactivate large loads of the influenza virus, thus containing it’s spread.
The coating, says a statement by the DST, although developed for influenza, the root cause of severe respiratory infections, shows that the coating can also be effective in destroying Covid-19.
The technology is already set to be tested against the coronavirus. If found to be active, a number of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), such as masks, gowns, gloves, face shields used by doctors and nurses, can be coated with it, imparting enhanced protection and safety to them.
“It is very heartening that the best of our research institutions globally acknowledged for deep strengths in basic sciences are also increasingly translating their knowledge into challenging and useful applications. This product from JNCASR is a compelling example of that. I don’t have any doubt that we will see many more successful examples with the adequate help by industry in manufacturing”, said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.
The technology has been developed by Prof Jayanta Haldar’s team at JNCASR and the compound that the scientists have synthesized for the coating is soluble in a range of solvents such as water, ethanol, methanol and chloroform. Aqueous or organic solutions of this compound can be used to coat different daily life and medically important materials, such as textiles, plastic, PVC, polyurethane, polystyrene, in a single step. The coating displays excellent antiviral activity against influenza virus completely killing them within 30 minutes of contact. It disrupts the membranes of pathogens (i.e. bacteria) leading to their death.
During the research, the coated surfaces also completely killed different drug-resistant bacteria and fungi such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and fluconazole-resistant C. albicans, respectively, most of them in 30 to 45 minutes, displaying rapid microbicidal activity. The cotton sheets coated with the compound “showed complete killing of more than a million bacterial cells‘‘.
Meanwhile, the Science and Engineering Board (SERB) has invited ideas for short-term proposals for developing antiviral
nano-coating and new nano-based material for use in PPE, which can be transferred to a partnering industry or start-up for scale up. The invitation calls for development of antiviral nano-coatings for producing anti-COVID-19 Triple Layer Medical masks and N-95 respirators or better masks in large quantities and PPEs.
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