Copper is inherently antimicrobial. We need agents better than masks, soap, and alcohol-based sanitizers to contain COVID-19. We need antiviral agents that act rapidly and disinfect materials. A team of researchers from Kuprion, Inc., Integrated Pharma Services, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and George Mason University revealed that using copper in a new confirmation is effective in killing microbes.
In this study, active copper is a large interconnected mesostructured metal network consisting of polymeric gel-like copper material with mesoscale porosity and surface roughness. The structure is dense but flowable metallic gel-like paste with an interconnected mesoscale network, porosity, and surface roughness that enables safe handling and processing. The authors have characterized the material in detail. To determine how quickly active copper acts against microbes, a time-dependent antimicrobial activity was studied. The researchers formulated water-based paints to coat different fabrics and porous filter materials that could be used in face masks and air purification units such as HVAC systems in airplanes, hospitals, or public transportation. All samples revealed 100% viral kill rates.
The active copper textile reduced the concentrations of enveloped (influenza) and non-enveloped (calicivirus) viruses by more than 99% within 30 seconds. The active copper also deactivated 99% of SARS-CoV-2 in 30 seconds. They found a maximal copper dose of approximately 2ng/hour for a wearer, which is significantly below OSHA’s maximum PEL. The researchers suggested that this active copper could be used in the manufacturing of PPE kits, masks and could also be applied on high-traffic virus hosting sites to effectively curb the SARS-CoV-2 infectivity.
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