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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V029762/1
Title: SUrfaCe Characteristics Enabled StrategieS against virus transmission (SUCCESS)
Principal Investigator: Zhang, Dr ZJ
Other Investigators:
Fruk, Dr L Fryer, Professor PJ Christie, Dr G
Clarke, Professor SM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Dupont Teijin Films (UK) Limited FiberLean Technologies Innospce Inc.
Department: Chemical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 29 September 2020 Ends: 28 March 2022 Value (£): 649,501
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complex fluids & soft solids Materials Characterisation
Materials Synthesis & Growth Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 between humans by development of antiviral formulated products. It will be delivered via additives in domestic formulated products, e.g. spray or aerosol, or integrated with current manufacturing processes, forming an invisible and long-lasting film of sub-micron thickness. Unlike disinfectants, formulations will be designed to both capture the aerosol droplets and inactivate the virus.

Our first priority is to establish a mechanistic understanding of the interactions between aerosol droplets (or pure virus particles) and surfaces, which will inform possible antiviral mechanisms while providing a set of fundamental and coherent design principles for antiviral surfaces.

Two technology platforms will be pursued to leverage the expertise and capability of our industrial partners. Polymer additives with controlled chemistry and molecular architecture will be explored to generate molecular films that facilitate disruption of aerosolised droplets and which may rupture the viral envelope or interfere adversely with key viral proteins and or genetic material. Proposed nanocellulose additives will confer additional benefits in terms of providing a porous structure designed to wick and absorb any protective mucus present.

In parallel, hybrid polymer technology will be developed, employing reactive oxygen-producing copper nanoparticles coupled with flavin dyes that produce singlet oxygen species known to deactivate viruses when irradiated with light of the appropriate wavelength.

Upon satisfactory antiviral testing results, promising design/formulation will be recommended based on their processability, suitability for end-applications, and environmental impact. Industrial partners with substantial experience in formulation will carry out pilot-scale production and full- scale manufacturing subsequently.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk