While the number of bacterial and viral infections has been steadily rising, the emergence of the novel Covid-19 pandemic has caused a surging demand for antimicrobial treatments that can keep surfaces clean, particularly in health care settings. However, all of these surfaces and coatings have been developed to combat bacteria but not to kill off viruses.

Quite surprisingly, so far the effect of nanostructured surfaces on viruses has never been investigated.

In new work reported in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering («Antiviral Nanostructured Surfaces Reduce the Viability of SARS-CoV-2»), researchers from the Centre for Biomedical Technologies at Queensland University of Technology have successfully produced durable antiviral surfaces that inactivate SARS-CoV-2 within 6 hours.

In contrast, on various non-nanostructured surfaces or smooth surfaces, the SARS-COV-2 virus remained viable for up to 48 hours.

«Our results provide evidence that surfaces that are structured with specific nanoscale surface features are effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 and the subsequent environmental spread,» Jafar Hasan, the paper's first author, tells Nanowerk. «Such nanostructured surfaces can be used in hospital environments such as trolleys, bed-rails, door-knobs, etc. These surfaces can be extended to other industrial sectors and public infrastructure such as transportation, where fomites or contaminated surfaces are carriers for viral infections.»

This research has grown out of earlier work (ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, «Antiviral and Antibacterial Nanostructured Surfaces with Excellent Mechanical Properties for Hospital Applications») where the team, led by Prof. Prasad K.D.V. Yarlagadda, showed that nanoscale topography can kill and inactivate a wide range of bacteria and viruses.

«Our results provide evidence that surfaces that are structured with specific nanoscale surface features are effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 and the subsequent environmental spread,» Jafar Hasan, the paper's first author, tells Nanowerk. «Such nanostructured surfaces can be used in hospital environments such as with trolleys, bed-rails, door-knobs, etc. These surfaces can be extended to other industrial sectors and public infrastructure such as transportation, where fomites or contaminated surfaces are carriers for viral infections.»

This research has grown out of earlier work (ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, «Antiviral and Antibacterial Nanostructured Surfaces with Excellent Mechanical Properties for Hospital Applications») where the team, led by Prof. Prasad K.D.V. Yarlagadda, showed that nanoscale topography can kill and inactivate a wide range of bacteria and viruses.

. «We found that upon exposure to the etched surface, the viability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was reduced significantly within 6 hours compared to exposure to smooth Al control and TCP surfaces,» Hasan points out. «With a 5-log reduction, there was practically no live virus recovered from the etched surfaces at 6 hours of exposure or later.»

This is a novel finding which demonstrates the efficacy of nanostructured Al 6063 alloy in reducing viable SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, thus reducing the risk of transmission by fomite contamination," Hasan concludes. «The next stage of our research is to understand the antiviral mechanism at work here and provide similar technologies to several industries. Fabrication of nanostructures on different materials and understanding the antiviral mechanism will provide further developments to fully address the issues around the viral spread.»

The team will also explore how to upscale the technology for potential industrial-scale production.

https://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=56185.php

 

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