As scientists across the world continue to work on finding ways to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at University of Cambridge are developing antiviral masks which may kill the deadly virus within one hour. Scientists are working with an anti-viral coating technology called DiOX, which uses organic disinfectant compounds in the textiles, The Telegraph reported.
As per the report, the invisible coating on facemasks attacks the virus by rapturing its outer layer, effectively eliminating all new mutant variants, including the UK's so-called Kent variant and the South African variant.
"The antiviral agent within the coating of the mask kills the virus by breaching its protective outer membrane, which is known as its envelope. Unlike other parts of the virus, the membrane remains the same regardless of any type of mutation. Hence this way of attacking the pathogen will work on any new variant of coronavirus," Dr Graham Christie, senior lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge, told the newspaper.
"In fact, you could mutate the entire genome of the virus and it would have no effect on the envelope. We expect to see the same response regardless of the strain of coronavirus because structurally they are all very similar," he said.
The DiOX technology is based on quaternary ammonium salts - organic compounds widely used in the textile industry for their antimicrobial properties. Laboratory tests showed that the mask coated with it killed 95 per cent of pathogens on its surface within one hour and they were undetectable after four hours.
As per the expert, the action of the antiviral agent continues to work because it is unaffected by changes in the spike protein of the virus, which is the method by which coronavirus mutates.
Wiht PTI inputs