It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A remarkable anti-viral polymer can be applied like paint; it was
developed by MIT's Alexander Klibanov.
His intent is to develop a biocidal "paint" that can help reduce the
spread of germs in public areas and hospitals.
Klibanov and his colleagues found that the prickly polymer worked
on bacteria; they tested it with the smaller flu virus and found the
They applied droplets of a flu solution to glass slips painted with
After a few minutes' exposure, they were unable to recover any
active virus from the samples, meaning the coating reduced the
pathogen's abundance by at least a factor of 10,000.
How does it work? In the case of bacteria, the polymer seems
gouge holes in a microbe's cell wall and spilling out its contents.
The polymer molecules stay rigid because they are all positively
charged and repel each other; they are like strands of hair stan-
ding on end from a static charge.
The spikes have sufficiently few charges, however, that they can
breach bacterial walls, which repel strongly charged molecules.
The polymer probably neutralizes flu because the virus has an
envelope around it suitable for spearing, Klibanov says.