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A new antimicrobial compound has been developed that can remove viruses from PPE (personal protective equipment) fabrics.

Although PPE can prevent infections, infectious droplets can remain on the PPE fabric for a few days. To combat this issue, a team from the University of Alberta has developed a substance that can be applied to any PPE material to remove bacteria or viruses. Hyo-Jick Choi and his team from the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering have created what Choi calls a “universal pathogen negation substance” that is quickly activated by light. Unlike conventional antimicrobial solutions, Choi’s substance is fast-acting and non-toxic. Conventional solutions soon lose their antimicrobial properties. The solution developed by Choi and his team can be permanently applied to solid objects like handrails and doorknobs to prevent viruses from remaining on them. 
Choi claims that the technical challenges of producing an effective antimicrobial compound have been overcome. The prototype antimicrobial compound has been successfully tested, helped by funding from the Canadian Institute of Health Research. He hopes a commercial partner can be found to turn the invention into a commercial product. 
Choi stated,
“The overall goal of all of our research is to contribute to public health, especially for pandemic diseases. I hope our technology can help control the spread of disease in future pandemics.”
This project is part of research aimed at increasing preparedness for future pandemics. The team is also working on an orally administered vaccine that does not require refrigeration or injection by trained personnel.



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