Scientists develop fabric that neutralizes new coronavirus

The technology can eliminate 99.8% of the virus in two minutes

Published in 23/07/2020 - 12:00 By Letycia Bond - São Paulo

Scientists at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICB) at the University of São Paulo (USP), the Universitat Jaume I, in Spain, and the Center for the Development of Functional Materials (CDMF) developed a fabric capable of neutralizing SarS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The project was also joined by nanotechnology company Nanox.

The fabric, which should serve chiefly for the manufacture of hospital clothes and is on its way to the market, can eliminate 99.9 percent of the novel coronavirus in about two minutes. Its composition stems from the mixture of polyester and cotton, which receives a layer of silver microparticles through a process called pad-dry-cure. The application of small particles of silver consists of a technique established for some time among industries, and can be found in the textile, cosmetic, and paint fields.

Researcher Lucio Freitas Junior, from ICB’s level 3 biosecurity laboratory (NB3) told Agência Brasil that the initiative utilized the sample of the novel coronavirus that had been isolated and grown from the load infecting one of the first patients diagnosed with the disease, treated at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.

“We had the virus isolated in our laboratory in large amounts. Our lab provides the virus to Brazil and other countries, for studies to be conducted,” the pointed out.

To make sure the material is efficient, scientists carried out the second stage, of molecular analysis. In addition to gauging antiviral, antimicrobial, and fungicide activity, they assessed other key aspects before the product may be traded, like making certain it does not trigger allergy or other adverse responses from the body.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Graça Adjuto / Nira Foster

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