ISRAEL21c Staff via Israel21c – Unlike chlorine bleach and similar surface disinfecting products, the new substances target the virus infection mechanism and remain active longer.
Chemical engineers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology say they have developed smart disinfectants that destroy the coronavirus infection mechanism and remain active over time.
Asst. Prof. Shady Farah, head of the research group, has received a European Institute of Innovation and Technology grant under its Health COVID-19 Rapid Response program to accelerate the development process and market launch.
“We are currently producing potential substances and testing them. We plan to select the optimal substance and begin mass production in the next few months,” said Farah.
The hope is that these products could replace household bleach and other chorine-based solutions whose disinfecting ability diminishes rapidly through evaporation and light exposure.
The novel coronavirus causing the current epidemic can survive on various surfaces for as long as 17 days. This increases the probability of infection from touching contaminated surfaces.
Farah’s research group develops polymers for medical use and smart drug delivery. When the Covid-19 epidemic broke out, the group began developing antiviral polymers that act on the virus in two ways: by altering and damaging its structure so that its infection capability is impaired; and by attacking and destroying the virus’s envelope.
“We are … adding a new family of disinfectants that release the active substance in a controlled manner. In this way, they remain effective for long periods of time,” Farah said.
He added that although this development was accelerated due to the current coronavirus crisis, the new disinfectants will also be effective against other microorganisms.
Other Israeli surface disinfectants recently formulated for virus protection include Bio-Fence, containing active chlorine stabilized by an innovative polymer, based on core technology developed at the Israel Institute of Biological Research; and a technology from Bar-Ilan University chemists that turns tap water into a powerful, environmentally friendly disinfectant on demand.