Scientists at the University of Toronto have tested I3 BioMedical’s proprietary TrioMed Active coating.
The scientists, led by Professor Scott Gray-Owen of the department of molecular genetics in the Faculty of Medicine, used the faculty’s high-tech containment level three (CL3) lab to test the efficacy of the TrioMed Active Mask’s antimicrobial coating.
They found that the novel coating deactivated more than 99% of SARS-CoV-2 within minutes, a finding that could represent a huge boon for health-care workers who are at risk of being contaminated with the virus by touching or adjusting their face masks.
Indeed, the coronavirus has been shown to be present and infectious on the outer layer of masks for up to seven days, according to a recent study published in The Lancet Microbe.
“A big challenge for most people in the population who usually never wear surgical masks is comfort and fit. Because of this, people tend to be constantly adjusting their masks,” said Gray-Owen.
“So, they’re either contaminating their hands or, if their hands are contaminated, they’re contaminating a mask that’s close to their face and maybe even depositing the virus there, which they might then inhale.”
Gray-Owen says I3 BioMedical’s proprietary TrioMed Active coating material had previously been demonstrated to kill most microbes on contact and was shown to remain directly coupled to the outside surfaces of masks rather than leach out into the environment or onto the skin of wearers.
“They had done this before with other bacterial and viral pathogens including influenza and we extended these studies for them to show that SARS-CoV-2 was also susceptible,” Gray-Owen said.
The CL3 lab – the only such facility in Toronto – was approached by I3 BioMedical on the recommendation of engineers at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said Gray-Owen, who is Director of the lab.