Copper embedded fabrics and facemasks for rapid, irreversible destruction of Covid-19
Prevention of viral and bacterial infections in public and health care settings remains a major challenge during the pandemic of COVID-19. The virus has globally created multiple health and socioeconomic challenges in all affected countries with unknown consequences. The development of effective anti-viral drugs and vaccines to cope with infection and spreading of COVID‑19 are several months away at the best estimation. Human-to-human transmissions of COVID‑19 are mainly by aerosol from the nasal mucosa. Protective respiratory facemasks are used for the protection of both health care providers and patients from the droplets/aerosols containing viruses or other infectious pathogens. Copper, silver, and zinc have been known for centuries to have potent biocidal properties for a wide range of viral pathogens. We are proposing to take advantage of the potent antiviral activity of copper to enhance the protective function of facemasks adding the rapid irreversible destruction of viral genomes. In our past studies, we demonstrated that thermal spraying of copper alloys onto various heat sensitive or polymeric surfaces (polymer composites, wood, paper) kills bacteria within a few minutes.