Development of antiviral surfaces to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19
In March 2020, the new human coronavirus disease COVID‑19 was declared pandemic. As of May 21, 2020, the World Health Organization has reported over 4.8 million confirmed cases, including over 323,000 deaths worldwide. Only in Canada, the number of confirmed infections and deaths have reached over 80,000 and 6,000, respectively. Apart from the elevated rates of death and illness, this pandemic has caused major social and economic disruption throughout the world. This proposal is focused on development of thermally sprayed intrinsic antiviral coatings in order to mitigate the indirect transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus. These coatings can be applied on touch surfaces such as the handrails, doorknobs, elevator buttons, ATM machines, and biomedical appliances in various public and service departments such as hospitals, schools, and the transport system. Another important targeted application is for air purification in the ventilation systems used in buildings, airplanes and other means of transport. Using thermal spray, a technology known for its versatility, scalability and cost-effectiveness, we intend to develop antiviral coatings with materials such as TiO2, Cu2O, and TiO2/Cu2O. These materials have shown promise for their virus killing and anti-pathogen properties when exposed to UV light, visible light, and even in the dark. This could provide an innovative approach to inhibit the spread of viral infections, and more specifically the COVID‑19 disease, based on a highly efficient, low-cost and environmentally friendly technology.