Scientists develop effective disinfectant for a whole week

Researchers at the University of Florida may have found the solution to create a long-lasting disinfectant.

Since the start of the pandemic, the health issue has been on everyone’s lips, and in everyone’s hands. First cause of disease transmission our hands are nests for germs and bacteria. Inpes, the national institute for prevention and health education, recalls that 80% of virus transmissions are through our hands, and that their hygiene is therefore a key point in the health fight.

The best solution against these health risks remains the disinfectants and hydroalcoholic gels that we know so well. But researchers at the University of Central Florida may have found a much better solution.

While Christina Drake, founder of Kismet Technologies, initially thought about developing a fast acting disinfectant, she quickly realized that the demand was not there. The disinfectants we use today work for a few hours, at most, and surfaces therefore require regular cleaning. The researcher therefore wanted to create a disinfectant that would work for several days.

With the help of Dr Sudipta Seal, UCF materials engineer, and Dr Griff Parks, virologist and director of the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, the small team managed to set up a disinfectant that would work 7 days for a only application. A very promising innovation for the health sector, which must fight against virological injections.

Efficiency over seven days

This new product is based on cerium oxide, an artificial nanostructure. These have been boosted with silver atoms for the occasion. “So that they cling better to the virus before breaking its surface”, explains Doctor Seal.

These nanostructures can also emit electrons to oxidize the virus. This other mechanism does not destroy the virus, but it becomes inactive and can no longer multiply.

If this new disinfectant has not yet left the laboratories, the first studies on it show rather encouraging results. According to the study by Doctors Seal, Drake and Park, published in ACS Nano, a reference journal regarding nanotechnologies, their product would already be effective against seven viruses, including Covid-19.

Very impressive in the early stages of testing, this new disinfectant will now have to prove itself in “real” conditions in contact with sunlight or ambient temperatures. If it manages to pass all the tests set out in its path, it could be marketed in the next few years, not before. Until then you should always use gels and other disinfectants, whose effectiveness, if it is no longer to be proven, is not eternal.

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