Futuristic fabric coating fabric kills SARS-CoV-2, E. coli and more

Researchers from the University of British Columbia have made a fabric coating that kills SARS-CoV-2, E. coli, and MRSA bacteria.

Published Fri, Feb 11 2022 4:22 AM CST   |   Updated Wed, Mar 9 2022 5:04 AM CST

The new coating is described in a study recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Futuristic fabric coating fabric kills SARS-CoV-2, E. coli and more 01 | TweakTown.com

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) developed the coating, which is inexpensive and non-toxic, able to be applied to virtually any fabric. It decreases the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease, by up to 90 percent. The coating is also able to kill Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria.

"This coating has both passive and active antimicrobial properties, killing microbes immediately upon contact, which is then amped up when sunlight hits the cloth," says senior author Dr. Michael Wolf, a professor of chemistry.

To create the coating, the researchers soaked fabrics in a solution of a polymer with bactericidal properties, which releases sterilizing forms of oxygen when light is shone on it. Researchers then used ultraviolet light to fix the coating on the fabric by turning the solution solid. The fabric's integrity is not compromised, and it becomes hydrophobic, making it more difficult for bacteria to stick to it. Their method is highly versatile, requiring only a beaker and light, and can be used with cotton, polyester, denim, or silk fabrics.

Without exposure to light, the coating killed 15 percent of E. coli bacteria within thirty minutes, which jumps to 97 percent when exposed to green light for the same amount of time. Five percent of MRSA bacteria were killed passively within thirty minutes, but when exposed to green light, this jumped to 65 percent. After four hours, no bacteria remained.

"Biomanufacturing face masks based on this new UBC technology would represent an important addition to our arsenal in the fight against COVID-19, in particular for highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern such as Omicron", says co-author Dr. Francois Jean, a professor of virology at UBC.

You can read more from the study here.

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NEWS SOURCES:phys.org, doi.org

Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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