Antimicrobial Nanomaterials and Coatings: Current Mechanisms and Future Perspectives to Control the Spread of Viruses Including SARS-CoV-2
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The global COVID-19 pandemic has attracted considerable attention toward innovative methods and technologies for suppressing the spread of viruses. Transmission via contaminated surfaces has been recognized as an important route for spreading SARS-CoV-2. Although significant efforts have been made to develop antibacterial surface coatings, the literature remains scarce for a systematic study on broad-range antiviral coatings. Here, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the antiviral materials and coatings that could be implemented for suppressing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 via contaminated surfaces. We discuss the mechanism of operation and effectivity of several types of inorganic and organic materials, in the bulk and nanomaterial form, and assess the possibility of implementing these as antiviral coatings. Toxicity and environmental concerns are also discussed for the presented approaches. Finally, we present future perspectives with regards to emerging antimicrobial technologies such as omniphobic surfaces and assess their potential in suppressing surface-mediated virus transfer. Although some of these emerging technologies have not yet been tested directly as antiviral coatings, they hold great potential for designing the next generation of antiviral surfaces.
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