Researchers at a Hong Kong university say they have developed an antiviral coating which could provide 90 days of "significant" protection against bacteria and viruses such as the one causing COVID-19.
The coating, called MAP-1, took 10 years to develop and can be sprayed on surfaces that are frequently used by the public, such as elevator buttons and handrails, researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) say.
"These places are frequently touched, and, at the same time, serve as a very effective medium for transmission of diseases," said HKUST Adjunct Professor Joseph Kwan, one of the chief researchers in the team that developed the product.
The coating that forms after spraying has millions of nano-capsules containing disinfectants, which Kwan says remain effective in killing bacteria, viruses and spores even after the coating has dried.
Unlike common disinfecting methods such as diluted bleach and alcohol, MAP-1 is further boosted by heat-sensitive polymers that encapsulate and release disinfectants upon human contact, Kwan said.