Study: Resin Reduces Coronavirus Infectivity on Plastic

Researchers from Finland have discovered a resin element that can effectively kill coronaviruses on plastic surfaces, reducing the risk of infection from contact with contaminated objects.

Plastic is one of the most common materials used in various settings, such as restaurants, public transport, stores and hospitals. However, plastic can also harbor viruses for long periods of time, making it a potential source of transmission for infectious diseases.

According to a recent study published in Microbiology Spectrum, a resin ingredient embedded in plastic surfaces can strongly decrease the infectivity of both seasonal human coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, in collaboration with Premix Oy, a Finnish company that produces electrically conductive plastics. The researchers tested the antiviral activity of resin-embedded plastic against untreated plastic by exposing them to coronavirus particles and measuring their viability over time.

The results showed that untreated plastic allowed the viruses to remain infective for more than two days, while resin-embedded plastic showed good antiviral activity within 15 minutes of contact and excellent efficacy after 30 minutes. The resin ingredient also caused structural damage to the viruses, making them unable to infect cells.

The researchers believe that resin-embedded plastic could be a promising candidate for an antiviral surface that could be used in various applications to prevent the spread of viral diseases.

“This information would be of direct benefit to both consumers and industry. Antiviral functionality could be used, for example, in restaurants, kindergartens, public transport and stores, on different surfaces, where viruses can potentially stay infective for a long time and spread easily,” said Professor Varpu Marjomäki from the University of Jyväskylä, who led the research group.

The study is part of the BIOPROT project (Development of bio-based and antimicrobial materials and use as protective equipment), which involves six universities and research institutes and several companies. The project aims to develop new, sustainable and safe material solutions that will be used in the fight against infections, with a particular focus on respiratory and surgical mouth masks and reusable masks for industrial use.

The project also hopes to improve the self-sufficiency of products and materials in Europe in case of future pandemics and epidemics.

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