Biomaterials Discovery

Matter November 2020


Latest research into finding new materials that help prevent Covid-19 infection published

The world faces a severe and acute public health emergency due to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) global pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the main defence against viral contamination.  PPE is generally made from materials called polymers.  As a result there is an opportunity to look for materials that can actively reduce SARS-CoV-2 surface contamination and its associated transmission and use these to improve PPE.  Dr Xuan Xue, Professor Morgan Alexander and other members of the Biomaterials Discovery team have recently published a paper reviewing the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and similar viruses on different surface materials and highlighting potential areas of future research.  The full article can be read in the journal Matter.

All Surfaces Are Not Equal in Contact Transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Xuan Xue, Jonathan K. Ball, Cameron Alexander, Morgan R. Alexander
Matter, Volume 3, Issue 5, 4 November 2020, Pages 1433-1441

Related work is also published in Biointerphases by Dr Andrew Blok, Professor Morgan Alexander and other members of the Biomaterials Discovery team.  Here, researchers identified methods for rapidly screening a large number of  materials to identify ones that have desirable virus-material interactions that would make them suitable for use in PPE.  The article details competitive adsorbents of Rubella and Lassa fever virus-like particles on hundreds of different polymers using high throughput micro array screening which will be progressed to include SARS-CoV-2 viral particle inactivation as a selection criterion to allow new polymers to be discovered with desirable attachment and inactivation profiles. 

Polymer Microarrays Rapidly Identify Competitive Adsorbents of Virus-like Particles (VLPs)
Andrew J. Blok, Pratik Gurnani, Alex Xenopoulos, Laurence Burroughs, Joshua Duncan, Richard Urbanowicz, Theocharis Tsoleridis, Helena Müller, Thomas Strecker, Jonathan Ball, Cameron Alexander, Morgan Alexander
Biointerphases, 15, 061005 (2020)  DOI: 10.1116/6.0000586
Posted on Wednesday 11th November 2020

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