University of Central Florida scientists have developed a new nanoparticle-based disinfectant which is capable of protecting surfaces against seven viruses for up to seven days.
Upping the fight against COVID-19 and other emerging pathogenic viruses, this new cleaning agent could have a major impact in health care settings in particular, reducing the rate of hospital acquired infections, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Clostridium difficile – which affect more than one in 30 patients admitted to U.S. hospitals.
The new nanotechnology-based disinfectant is the brainchild of Christina Drake, UCF alum and founder of Kismet Technologies.
Drake partnered with UCF materials engineer Sudipta Seal and Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences director Griff Parks, to bring the cleaning agent to fruition.
According to the scientists, the disinfectant’s active ingredient is an engineered nanostructure called cerium oxide which is known for its regenerative antioxidant properties.
The cerium oxide nanoparticles in this process were modified with small amounts of silver to make them more potent against pathogens.
“It works both chemically and mechanically,” says Seal. “The nanoparticles emit electrons that oxidize the virus, rendering it inactive.”
“Mechanically, they also attach themselves to the virus and rupture the surface, almost like popping a balloon.”
This allows the nanoparticle formulation to maintain its ability to inactivate microbes and continue to disinfect a surface for up to seven days after a single application.
“The disinfectant has shown tremendous antiviral activity against seven different viruses,” says Parks, whose lab was responsible for testing the formulation against ‘a dictionary’ of viruses.
“Not only did it show antiviral properties toward coronavirus and rhinovirus, but it also proved effective against a wide range of other viruses with different structures and complexities.”
“We are hopeful that with this amazing range of killing capacity, this disinfectant will also be a highly effective tool against other new emerging viruses. “
The new formulation has no harmful chemicals and this makes it safe to be used on any surface, says Drake:
“Many household disinfectants currently available contain chemicals that can be harmful to the body with repeated exposure.”
“Our nanoparticle-based product will have a high safety rating will play a major role in reducing overall chemical exposure for humans.”
Image and content: AP Photo-Trisnadi/University of Central Florida