Scientists from the University of Hong Kong have developed the world's first stainless steel capable of eliminating the SARS-Cov-2 virus on its surface, Russian media citing the university's press office reported on Thursday.
The scientists managed to produce antiviral properties by adjusting the chemical composition and microstructure of regular stainless steel, according to the project's leader, professor Mingxin Huang.
"The project team... has made significant breakthroughs in producing the first anti-COVID-19 stainless steel that kills the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) on its surface. The anti-COVID-19 stainless steel can also inactivate the H1N1 virus and E.coli on its surface," read the statement cited by Sputnik.
Regular stainless steel is widely used in public places, but it does not have antibacterial properties. The new alloy has a much higher copper content, which facilitates the rapid inactivation of the virus and gives it antibacterial properties, the research said, according to Sputnik.
The team has filed a patent for the findings and is in negotiations with industrial partners for the pilot production of public products made from the new material, such as lift buttons, doorknobs, and handrails, the university said, it added.