Innovative antiviral coating

A research team from Northumbria University in Newcastle/UK is currently developing a new type of multifunctional antiviral coating which could form part of the country’s biodefence.

It is hoped that the antiviral coating could be used on high-contact surfaces such as handrails on public transport Image: Northumbria University Newcastle

In partnership with Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), academics from the University’s Department of Applied Sciences are working to create a unique “superhydrophobic” – low friction – coating that enables surfaces to be functionalized in a way that destroys viruses whilst maintaining robust and easy-to-clean properties.

While antiviral coatings are not a new concept, existing approaches can release undesirable chemical compounds into the environment, are not long lasting or are difficult to clean and maintain. This novel coating aims to provide a solution to the drawbacks of current formulas. The researchers are focusing on developing new multifunctional contact biocidal and virucidal coatings, which are safe, do not release chemicals to the environment and are user friendly and universal in their application. An ideal coating system would be both potent in its antimicrobial properties but also easy-clean or even self-cleaning in nature. This concept is the inspiration for the low friction, or superhydrophobic qualities of the coatings under development by researchers at Northumbria.

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