Development and validation of a SARS-CoV-2 antiviral coatings for high-touch critical surfaces
This research is centred on a highly cost-effective, production-ready antiviral coating that could massively reduce the rate of SARS-CoV-2 transmission on high touch metallic surfaces if implemented on accessories (e.g. door handles, stair rails) in public spaces such as hospitals, mass transit etc. Regulatory agencies already recognize a range of copper (Cu) alloys as safe-to-use materials exhibiting intrinsic broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity that proved to be efficient in both reducing contamination of nosocomial bacteria and inactivating enveloped and non-enveloped RNA viruses by 99.9% in less than 2 hours. Extensive replacement of such high touch surfaces by solid Cu/Cu alloys would be costly; we propose the use of Cu/Cu alloy cold spray coatings. Among coating processes, cold spray is an industrial process that proved to be highly efficient to apply copper coatings that exhibit superior properties to other type of coating processes; our initial trial data demonstrates the efficiency of inactivating 99.9% of human coronavirus in 30 minutes, suggesting that it could imparts superior antiviral properties compared to solid counterparts, or to other coating techniques. Moreover, there is an entire value chain in Canada around cold spray technology which will tremendously benefit from the success of this study, and rapidly deploy these coated high touch surface accessories to help reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The collaborators comprise McGill University (Prof Yue, PI) and NRC (Dr. Irissou), who have assembled the McGill-NRC cold spray facility at NRC-Boucherville, operating since 2007. Dr. Chen Liang, the Interim Director of the McGill AIDS Centre, was recently awarded a CIHR COVID‑19 grant to investigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission and pathogenicity. Luc Pouliot represents Polycontrols, a company that specialises in industrial applications of cold spray. Hatch Ltd. (Murray Pearson) is involved in planning, development, design and upgrading of public infrastructure, including subways, transit facilities, airport terminals, public spaces, civil works and commercial developments; their end users would benefit greatly from this initiative. Finally, Amir Nobari represents 5N Plus, a specialist powder manufacturer.