Anti-viral fabric coatings for high effectiveness personal protective equipment (Covid-19)
SARS-CoV-2 spreads by inhalation or by mucous contact with virus-contaminated droplets. In addition to social distancing, masks and gloves have become increasingly recommended not just for healthcare and essential workers but also for the general public. High-efficacy masks (e.g. surgical masks or N95 masks) and medical gloves, while effective in limited duration, cannot be produced at scale for the whole population and health care providers from all over the world have made desperate pleas to secure adequate supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE).
Here we propose a series of antiviral coatings to be applied easily and stably to fabric. The coatings would kill the virus upon contact, and could be applied both by healthcare workers on low-efficacy masks to make them equivalent to N95 masks or higher, and by the general public, on scarves or gloves that they may already own. The coatings would thus minimize infections through both droplet inhalation or hand-to-face transmission. The coatings we propose are inexpensive, scalable, nontoxic, easy to deposit and will have long-lasting antiviral effect. Blachford Ltd is a world leading chemical material producer with great expertise in formulation of suspensions, thickeners, and dispersions. They are our partner as they are highly interested in our approach and in the commercialization of our results. During this project they will provide both scientific input on coating formulation and regulatory and marketing consultations: while working on the chemistry of the coatings and testing them for antiviral properties, we will understand the regulatory requirements that coatings will need to comply to, and the marketing/production constraints. This fully integrated approach that includes scientific development, production vision and regulatory understanding will allow us to deliver a product that can be brought to the public very soon. This is crucial given the urgency of the pandemic and the benefits that the proposed coatings will bring to the population in terms of being able to go back to a less restricted life, and to the healthcare workers as a way to solve the current drastic shortage of PPE.