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Sprayable coating could eliminate Covid19 in public areas

Image credit: reuters

A sprayable coating claimed to be able to kill 99.9 per cent of viruses that has been developed by Hong Kong scientists could help to reduce transmission of Covid-19 in public areas.

The Multilevel Antimicrobial Polymer (MAP-1) coating has already been trialed in several hospitals in Hong Kong where it was shown to kill even drug-resistant bacteria that came in contact with it.

It incorporates millions of nano capsules that contain disinfectant which is released upon human contact.

The catch is the coating only lasts around 90 days, after which its effectiveness is greatly diminished and surfaces need to be resprayed.

However, the team from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) said it can be used on lots of different surfaces including metals, concrete, wood, glass and plastics, as well as fabrics, leathers and textiles, without changing the materials’ appearance and tactile feel.

MAP-1 took 10 years to develop, is non-toxic and safe for human skin with the intention that it could be used extensively on public transport systems, schools and gyms.

Applying the coating at schools costs between HK$20,000 (£2,100) and HK$50,000, depending on the size of the sprayed area. The company also plans to introduce 50ml and 200ml domestic use versions with prices ranging from HK$70 to HK$250.

“These places are frequently touched, and, at the same time, serve as a very effective medium for transmission of diseases,” said HKUST adjunct professor Joseph Kwan, one of the chief researchers in the team that developed the product.

Following clinical tests this year at a Hong Kong hospital and a home for the elderly, the coating has been made available for commercial purchase by Germagic, a unit of the university’s industrial partner, Chiaphua Industries Ltd.

It has already been approved for consumer use and will hit stores in Hong Kong next month.

In 2015 Hong Kong researchers demonstrated a door handle that beams out ultraviolet light to kill germs when the door moves. 

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