UCF hopes to create mask coating that catches, kills COVID-19

Coronavirus has caused 83,000 deaths worldwide

ORLANDO, Fla. – UCF researchers are working to create a protective coating for masks protecting doctors and nurses that would catch COVID-19 and kill it within seconds.

Sudipta Seal, an engineer specializing in material science and nanotechnology, came up with the idea and is working with Griffith Parks, a virologist who leads research efforts at UCF’s College of Medicine.

The National Science Foundation funded Seal’s idea last week, approving the research proposal through a rapid review process that took about a month.

“Why not come up with a protective film made of nanostructures that could catch and kill the virus?” Seal said. “I could come up with the nanoparticles, I was sure, but would the concept work with a virus? I called Dr. Parks and yes, he thought it could work.”

Seal will create nanostructures that can capture the virus and then trigger a chemical reaction using ultraviolet light to destroy it.

“The hypothesis is that UV generation locally from these particles will inactivate the virus,” Seal said.

If successful, the coating could be added to masks, gloves and gowns, which could keep healthcare providers safer as they battle COVID-19.

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