Surface treatment specialists, Lithcote Europe (Trazegnies), have developed a product that systematically kills bacteria and 80% of viruses, including COVID-19, on application. This all-in-one virucidal, bactericidal and fungicidal coating goes above and beyond the fight against coronavirus and could revolutionise many sectors if applied on public transport, on everyday objects or in hospital environments where it should greatly reduce the risk of nosocomial diseases.
The Lithocide Nanocoat acts as a waterproofing agent and neutralises viruses such as COVID-19. If a virus or bacteria were to settle on a surface treated with this product, the infectious load would be inactivated. This technology is based on functional nano-ceramics chemically linked to a polymer network. The surface treatment is thin (10 μm), flexible, transparent, very resistant and, above all, active.
"We could apply this coating to airplane seats or on handrails on public transport, for example," Lithcotes' Managing Director, Christophe Leclercq, explains to L'Echo. "This transparent, flexible product can also protect medical equipment, including scrubs for health care professionals. What's more, the product can be used on glass as it is very thin and transparent, so we could also imagine it being used on smartphone screens which are breeding grounds for microbes."
This self-disinfecting coating is very resistant and durable over time. "Chemically, it's a ceramic and is therefore a coating that is very resistant to abrasion and breakage. The ceramic remains active for as long as it is present on a coated surface. It can be compared to a varnish, but specifically to a varnish that can last for years on an object that is not subject to impact or abrasion," adds Christophe Leclercq.
The Lithocide is now patented and being tested in a laboratory at the University of Liège. "These tests involve bringing treated surfaces into contact with COVID-19 and seeing how quickly the virus is rendered inactive. Since we already know the properties of the active substance, we know that in one minute more than 99% of the virus is destroyed!" Christophe Leclercq claims on the RTBF website. It is also being tested on swine fever, which is widely considered to be the most resistant virus in the world.
Commercialisation will follow the tests and could start as soon as in the next few weeks.
Source : Lithcote, RTBF et l’Echo