Like many other reserachers, we thought about the tools we have in our lab and how could we use them to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We had few interesting materials in our hands: we knew how to design photo-triggered and biocompatible catalysts and we deal with nanostructured surfaces. This prompted us to go into two directions: design of light-triggered antiviral compounds for surface coating, and development of sustainably produced antiviral pigments for production of PPE materials. Both projects involve collaboration with industrial (Innospec, Fibrelean and Colorifix) partner and colleagues from University of Birmingham and Cambridge and have already resulted in first samples of antiviral fabrics.
In addition, within the Cultivator project run by Centre for Global Equality and helped by group of students, we are developing bionanotech-inspired desifectant that can be activated by sunlight and used in low income countries.
Antiviral fabric samples (Colorifics)
TiO2 structures for surface coating
Antiviral Flavin Hybrids
Dr. Zhenyu Jason Zhang
School of Chemical Engineering
University of Birmingham
Norwich Research Park Innovation Centre, Colney Ln, Norwich