Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) are developing safe, anti-viral nanoparticle coatings to prevent active surface infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.

The virus has been shown to live for up to 17 days on surfaces, where it can be contracted if touched by a human being. The nanocoating, if effective, could be used in hospitals, healthcare facilities and public locations to eradicate virus particles that adhere to them.

The coating contains nanoparticles of safe metal ions and polymers, combined with antiviral and antimicrobial properties that could be effective for weeks or even months.

BGU senior lecturer in materials engineering Dr Mark Schvartzman said: “While current surface disinfection methods rely mostly on substances that are poisonous for people, such as bleach, or on substances that evaporate readily being based on alcohol, the coating that we are developing is based on metals that are toxic for viruses or bacteria, but completely human-friendly.”