PPE anti-viral coating protects healthcare workers
An award of £615,000 has been given to the University of Liverpool to develop an anti-viral coating that can be used on the PPE (personal protective equipment) that healthcare workers wear.
The project leader Dr Raechelle D’Sa, assisted by Dr Jenny Hanson at the University of Leeds School of Engineering, is developing the new coating, which has antifouling and antiviral properties. It can be applied to the surfaces of all PPE worn by healthcare workers.
The project is funded by the UKRI COVID19 Rapid Response Call, which funds research and innovative technology solutions that fight the spread of COVID-19. Canadian researchers at the University of Toronto are partnering with the Liverpool-based university in this research.
Dr D’Sa said:
“This is a potential low-cost technology solution, that once proven can be taken forward in a relatively short timescale to provide additional protection from Covid-19 to healthcare workers.”
Coughing and sneezing transmit respiratory droplets, which can remain on masks, gloves and gowns. There is a high risk of infection when taking off and putting on contaminated PPE. Single-use equipment could contain the virus, which is why it is vitally important to dispose of such items safely. The new coating would kill the virus, making PPE safe after use.
The new PPE coating will primarily help health workers, but if it is successful, the technology could be used in more workplace sectors to increase the effectiveness of PPE worn by employees, especially in situations where workers have face-to-face interactions with members of the public.