A self-adhesive plastic film to protect surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons and touchscreens deactivates the novel coronavirus on contact.
The maker of the film is Promaflex. Thanks to technology developed by Nanox, a Brazilian company based in São Paulo and supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation under the FAPESP Program for Innovative Research in Small Business (PIPE), nanoparticles of silver and silica were incorporated into the polyethylene structure built-in.
In tests carried out at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of São Paulo (ICB-USP) and with laboratories certified for Biosafety Level III (BSL-3), after two minutes of contact, the film was 99.84% remove the virus particles.
“The technical standard for measuring antiviral activity on plastic and other non-porous surfaces, ISO 21702, requires proof of this ability within four hours. The plastic film containing silver-silica nanoparticles has done this earlier so far, and its virucidal effect increased over time, “said Lucio Freitas Junior, a researcher at ICB-USP.
The tests to measure the ability of the adhesive plastic film to inactivate the novel coronavirus corresponded to ISO 21702: 2019. Samples of the material with and without silver-silica nanoparticles were kept in direct contact with SARS-CoV-2 for different periods of time. After the specified periods of time, the virus particles found in the material were removed and brought into contact with Vero cells in order to measure the infection and replication rate after exposure to the film. Vero cells come from the kidney of an African monkey and are widely used in microbiological cultures.
The viral genetic material was quantified by PCR and showed a reduction in copies of SARS-CoV-2 by almost 100% after two minutes of exposure. “The silver-silica nanoparticles are added to the polyethylene during its manufacture so that the antimicrobial effect of the film is retained throughout its life,” said Luiz Gustavo Pagotto Simões, CEO of Nanox.
However, Nanox recommends using the film for up to three months. After that, it can wear out from excessive contact.
The adhesive film is the second plastic material with silver-silica nanoparticles sold by Nanox for protection against COVID-19.
In collaboration with the toy manufacturer Elka, the São Paulo-based company has developed a reusable face covering made from a rubber-like flexible thermoplastic material that is coated with the additive as a surface layer. The mask promises a higher level of protection against the novel coronavirus.
In early August, the product was approved by ANVISA, the Brazilian health surveillance agency, as an FFP2 mask for use in personal protective equipment (PPE).
“The company has received NBR 13698 approval for the filter used in the mask [the Brazilian technical standard for filtering half-masks used as respiratory protective equipment of the non-motorized air purifier type] and the mask is registered as PPE, “said Simões.
The silver-silica nanoparticles were used to coat fabrics for anti-COVID-19 clothing. In laboratory tests, the coated material was also shown to be able to inactivate the virus after two minutes.
The additive was used directly in clothing and fabrics manufactured by several industrial companies (such as Santista, Malwee, Cedro Têxtil and Delfim Tecidos) under a license agreement with Nanox.
“The material was a nuisance for us,” said Simões. “We changed our business plan and started licensing the use of our brand in addition to selling the additive. In some cases we earn royalties for selling products that use our brand. ”
Textiles are impregnated with the silver-silica nanoparticles using a process known as Pad-Dry-Cure. Upholstery is a coating technique that is commonly used as a textile finishing method.
Repeated washing can result in loss of the additive. “But we tested excessive washing of fabric with the additive and found no loss of effectiveness,” said Freitas Junior.
The researchers are developing tissues that can be used to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 through contact
Quote: Plastic film protects surfaces from new types of coronavirus upon contact (2020, October 16), accessed on October 16, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-plastic-surfaces-coronavirus-contact.html
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