The Story Behind ViraCoat’s Virucidal Face Masks
“It’s real kryptonite for viruses” — the story behind ViraCoat’s virucidal technology begins about two years ago when researcher Brian Eatwell came across an article outlining old methods of using bronze to ward off diseases and infections.
Mr Eatwell has worked with metals and polymers for almost three decades and has an intricate knowledge of how they function. Using this knowledge, he delved deeper into the idea of using bronze virus protection.
Bronze is essentially 90% copper and copper, along with other metals, can be transformed into metal powders that can be mixed with polymers and applied to fabrics. Through persistence and numerous tests, he was able to develop a prototype fabric that was then picked up by Prof. Muhammad Munir of Lancaster University.
Prof. Munir conducted thorough tests on the prototype and confirmed that it was indeed antiviral – the confirmation that encouraged the funding needed to bring ViraCoat to life as it is now.
“The antiviral coating is all about getting the right balance so the antiviral aspect of it is at the surface giving off its killing effect.,” shared Brian Eatwell. Not only has he been able to develop a coating that’s antiviral and antibacterial, but it’s also been proven to kill 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, bacteria, and influenza within 5 minutes of contact*.
What could this discovery mean for the future?
This innovative technology, dubbed Neutrapodal™ technology, has boundless potential for changing the way personal protective equipment (PPE) is manufactured. Its virucidal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties mean it can be used for longer periods of time while maintaining its efficacy. This in turn can reduce medical waste and help protect healthcare workers more thoroughly. Because the Neutrapodal™ coating is applied directly to material, that material can then be used to create any range of healthcare PPE, including gloves, gowns, aprons, and other mask types.
It will also have benefits beyond protection against COVID-19, having been proven to work against influenza and other bacteria. As mask wearing has become the new norm to protect individuals against the spread of coronavirus, it’s likely that more Western regions will follow the lead of Japan and China in wearing masks for other airborne illnesses.