A team of scientists from Ames National Laboratory, Iowa State University and the University at Buffalo developed an antimicrobial spray that deposits a layer of copper nanowires onto high-touch surfaces in public spaces.
Inspired by the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic, the researchers created a spray that contains copper nanowires (CuNWs) or copper-zinc nanowires (CuZnNWs) and can form an antimicrobial coating on a variety of surfaces.
In a paper published in the journal RSC Advances, the group explains that people have taken advantage of copper’s antimicrobial properties since 2400 B.C. to treat and prevent infections and diseases. The metal has proven effective for inactivating viruses, bacteria, fungi, and yeasts when they are directly in contact with the metal.
“One copper ion can penetrate the membrane of a virus and then insert itself into the RNA chain, and completely disable the virus from duplicating itself,” Jun Cui, a scientist at Ames Lab and one of the lead researchers on the project, said in a media statement.
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