Pathogen-Repellent Plastic Wrap with Built-In Hierarchical Structuring Prevents the Contamination of Surfaces with Coronaviruses
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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is evident that viral spread is mediated through several different transmission pathways. Reduction of these transmission pathways is urgently needed to control the spread of viruses between infected and susceptible individuals. Herein, we report the use of pathogen-repellent plastic wraps (RepelWrap) with engineered surface structures at multiple length scales (nanoscale to microscale) as a means of reducing the indirect contact transmission of viruses through fomites. To quantify viral repellency, we developed a touch-based viral quantification assay to mimic the interaction of a contaminated human touch with a surface through the modification of traditional viral quantification methods (viral plaque and TCID50 assays). These studies demonstrate that RepelWrap reduced contamination with an enveloped DNA virus as well as the human coronavirus 229E (HuCoV-229E) by more than 4 log 10 (>99.99%) compared to a standard commercially available polyethylene plastic wrap. In addition, RepelWrap maintained its repellent properties after repeated 300 touches and did not show an accumulation in viral titer after multiple contacts with contaminated surfaces, while increases were seen on other commonly used surfaces. These findings show the potential use of repellent surfaces in reducing viral contamination on surfaces, which could, in turn, reduce the surface-based spread and transmission.
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