Antiviral Personal Protective Equipment

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Mech, Materials & Aerospace Engineering


Coronaviruses are transmitted from an infectious individual through large respiratory droplets generated by
coughing, sneezing or speaking. These infectious droplets are then transmitted to the mucosal surfaces of a recipient through inhalation of the aerosol or by contact with contaminated fomites such as surfaces or other objects. In healthcare settings, personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in interrupting the transmission of highly communicable diseases such as COVID19 from patients to healthcare workers (HCWs). However, research has shown that PPE can also act as a fomite during the donning and doffing process as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on these surfaces for up to three days. This creates a need for more effective PPE materials that can provide antiviral protection. In this proposal we aim to develop a dual action antiviral/antifouling coating to lower the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs from COVID19 patients. This project will deliver antiviral/antifouling coatings that can be readily applied to PPE surfaces such as faceshields that are likely to encounter a high level of viral load and would be of great benefit to the health of clinical staff. Furthermore, this project has embedded into its planning a rapid pathway for optimisation, translation, and upscaling of manufacture to deliver a low-cost technology within a short timescale.


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Description EPSRC DTA
Amount £80,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R513271/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2020 
End 04/2024
Description Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine 
Organisation Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We formed this current partnership as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. Our technology developed through previous EPSRC funding has the potential to be used for antiviral applications and specifically in the current pandemic. We reached out the the Dr. Grant Hughes at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, who have been able to isolate the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Together through this funding we aim to develop antiviral PPE for the fight against the transmission of COVID19,
Collaborator Contribution LSTM have live cultures of the SARS-CoV2 virus in a CL3 laboratory. We are currently developing antiviral coatings that will be tested in their laboratories.
Impact Still ongoing.
Start Year 2020
Description University of Toronto 
Organisation University of Toronto
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have through our current EPSRC HIP award developed antimicrobial materials that can be applied to PPE for the prevention of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, for maximum efficiency, we need to extend the longevity of these materials an antifouling component also needs to be incorporated. We will combine out technology with that developed in Toronto to develop antiviral/antifouling PPE for the COVID19 pandemic
Collaborator Contribution Professor Michael Thompson has developed antifouling coatings that have shown remarkable ability to prevent protein and bacterial adhesion. This combined with a potent antimicrobial agent has the potential to have a real impact for the prevention of the transmission of COVID19 disease. We are collaboratively developing this coating together.
Impact none yet, grant is still ongoing.
Start Year 2020