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Scientists Find Self-sterilizing Polymers Effective Against Coronaviruses

Published on 2021-02-17. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Medical   

self-sterilizing-polymers Researchers from North Carolina State University, Boston University and Kraton Corporation have demonstrated a family of self-sterilizing polymers that are effective at inactivating coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.

The work opens the door to a suite of applications that could help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases.

Inactivating Viruses on High-contact Surfaces

The work provides conclusive evidence that these anionic polymers, can inactivate human coronaviruses quickly and efficiently.

If we want to coat high-contact surfaces such as textiles, countertops or walls – it’s possible,” says Frank Scholle, NC State. “Virus inactivation will occur as long as there is sufficient humidity,” adds Scholle.

When these anionic polymers absorb water, protons can travel through nanoscale channels to the surface, creating a highly acidic environment capable of inactivating viruses and killing bacteria and mold. The research team had previously demonstrated that several of the anionic polymers were effective against a range of pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and a strain of influenza.

Based on what we’ve learned, we’ve been able to identify a fundamentally new inactivation mechanism and a family of polymers that expands the health care sector’s arsenal for fighting the spread of coronavirus,” Richard Spontak, North Carolina State University, says.

In laboratory experiments, the researchers demonstrated that specific anionic polymers could fully inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in just 5 minutes, and fully inactivate a human coronavirus surrogate called HCoV-229E in 20 minutes.

Evaluating Applications of the Polymers

Kraton Corporation is in the process of evaluating applications for how some of these polymers might be used in a variety of settings.

We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with NC State University and Boston University to address an important and urgent need for long-lasting antimicrobial performance,” says Vijay Mhetar, Kraton’s chief technology officer. “Building upon this scientific discovery, Kraton Corporation is actively seeking regulatory approvals and evaluating application uses in transportation, health care, and building and infrastructure.

Source: North Carolina State University
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