What if there were a substance that, if sprayed on surfaces, could get rid of the coronavirus and other viruses and bacteria for 90 days? This would greatly reduce the chance of infection and go a long way in protecting people.
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Now, researchers at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have produced exactly such a disinfectant. They call it the Multilevel Antimicrobial Polymer (MAP-1) coating, and they report that it is "effective in killing viruses, bacteria, and even hard-to-kill spores. MAP-1 can inactivate up to 99.9% of highly-infectious viruses such as measles, mumps and rubella, and 99.99% of the surrogate feline calicivirus (FCV)," according to HKUST's press release.
The MAP-1 coating was tested in two field studies in the Kowloon Hospital and Haven of Hope Woo Ping Care and Attention Home and in the Water Supplies Department and the Drainage Services Department.
"We ran a seven-months field trial of the coating on privacy partition curtains in a local public hospital and six months study on bed linens in an elderly home, and the results are very encouraging, with the total amount of bacteria reduced by over 99% and 95.8% on the curtains and ben linens respectively," said Yeung King Lun, Professor of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Division of Environment and Sustainability.
Better than alcohol-based disinfectants
The new coating is significantly better than traditional alcohol-based disinfectants that lose their power as soon as they evaporate. MAP-1 is activated by any type of heat, such as a hand touching a surface or even sweat droplets.
Once activated, it releases its microbial and virus-fighting power, including its COVID-19 fighting power, to disinfect the surface once more.
"According to the Technical Standard for Disinfection issued by the National Health Commission in Mainland China, the coating is proven to be non-toxic and is safe for skin and the environment, hence it also allows MAP-1 to be made into hand sanitizers, paints and coating, filter materials for air and water purification, as well as clothing and surgical masks to safeguard the health of the individual and public," reads the HKUST's press release.
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