Copper Eliminates the COVID-19 Virus on Surfaces

Copper and silver are known for their antibacterial properties. Researchers from Bochum have explored their effectiveness against COVID-19 Virus .

Many pathogens are destroyed by silver and copper ions. As a result, these metals are often used to coat implants and medical instruments. Researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUBMolecular )’s and Medical Virology and Materials Research departments, in collaboration with Surgical Research at the Bergmannsheil University Hospital in Bochum, investigated whether these metals could also help contain the Covid-19 pandemic by rendering the Sars-Cov-2 virus harmless. They demonstrated that a copper coating eliminates the virus. The same cannot be said for silver. On May 3, 2022, the team published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.

As a result of corrosion, copper and silver release positively charged ions into their environment, which are harmful to bacteria in multiple ways and prevent their growth or kill them completely. This effect has long been exploited, for example by coating implants with these metals to prevent bacterial infections.

There are some tricks that can be used to release even more ions and intensify this effect. For example, the team headed by materials researcher Professor Alfred Ludwig uses a so-called sputtering system with which the thinnest layers or tiny nanopatches of the metals can be applied to a carrier material. Depending on the sequence or quantity in which the individual metals are applied, different surface textures are created. If a precious metal such as platinum is also applied, silver corrodes even faster and releases more antibacterial ions.

“In the presence of a more noble metal, the baser metal sacrifices itself, so to speak,” as Ludwig outlines the principle of the sacrificial anode. The effectiveness of such sacrificial anode systems against bacteria has already been demonstrated and published several times by the surgical research team headed by Professor Manfred Köller and Dr. Marina Breisch.

However, whether viruses can also be rendered harmless in this way has not yet been investigated in detail. “This is why we analyzed the antiviral properties of surfaces coated with copper or silver as well as various silver-based sacrificial anodes, and also examined combinations of copper and silver with regard to possible synergistic effects,” says virologist Professor Stephanie Pfänder. The team compared the effectiveness of these surfaces against bacteria with the effectiveness against viruses.

There are some tricks that can be used to release even more ions and intensify this effect. For example, the team headed by materials researcher Professor Alfred Ludwig uses a so-called sputtering system with which the thinnest layers or tiny nanopatches of the metals can be applied to a carrier material. Depending on the sequence or quantity in which the individual metals are applied, different surface textures are created. If a precious metal such as platinum is also applied, silver corrodes even faster and releases more antibacterial ions.

“In the presence of a more noble metal, the baser metal sacrifices itself, so to speak,” as Ludwig outlines the principle of the sacrificial anode. The effectiveness of such sacrificial anode systems against bacteria has already been demonstrated and published several times by the surgical research team headed by Professor Manfred Köller and Dr. Marina Breisch.

Source: This news is originally published by scitechdaily