Scientists say new disinfectant protects surfaces from coronavirus for 90 days

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Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have developed an anti-microbial coating that they say can kill the coronavirus when sprayed on surfaces.


Hong Kong Univeristy of Science and Technology

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Researchers at a top university in Hong Kong say they have developed a new anti-microbial coating that can be sprayed on surfaces to kill most bacteria and viruses –including the coronavirus — for up to 90 days.

Called MAP-1, the anti-microbial coating has been designed for use across a range of surfaces including glass, metals, plastic, leather and fabrics, according to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

The surface coating lasts “significantly longer” than conventional disinfectants that use alcohol or bleach, which loses their function as the liquids evaporates, according to researchers from the university.

To help do this, it relies on heat-sensitive polymers that its inventors say responds to contamination from touch or droplets. It does this by releasing a larger amount of disinfectant when it senses an increase in temperature that can take place whenever our hands touch a surface or when moisture from droplets. 

The anti-microbial spray is expected to hit stores in Hong Kong in May following clinical tests in the city back in February, according to Reuters. Shopping malls, schools, churches and sport training facilities in Hong Kong have used the coating, according to researchers, who also say the ingredients of the coating are non toxic. HKUST did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether there were plans for MAP-1 to be made available in the US or other countries.

The spread of the coronavirus appears to have eased in Hong Kong, where zero new COVID-19 cases were reported on several days last week. As of Monday, Hong Kong reported 1,038 coronavirus cases and four deaths.

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