Researchers at Lehigh University working on disinfectant to protect surfaces from airborne diseases

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Thanks to a $25,000 grant, scientists at Lehigh University are developing a disinfectant that will cling to surfaces longer and prevent the spread of coronavirus and other diseases.

"Any kind of research of this magnitude of the problem of this magnitude requires many different kinds of expertise," said Himanshu Jain, Professor of Material Science at Lehigh University.

The different experts on the team understand the virus, how it's transmitted and the surfaces which viruses, like coronavirus, land on. It's also where Dr. Jain and Dr. Frank Zhang come in.

"We are going to develop an effective way to basically prevent the virus either from attaching to a surface or just basically kill the virus. It's kind of like a disinfectant but could last much longer than the ones on the market," said Frank Zhang, Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Lehigh University.


Current disinfectants are mostly alcohol which is effective for a short time because it evaporates so fast. The team at Lehigh University is hoping its liquid polymer spray will have longer-lasting results.

"Our goal is to come up with a solution by coating the surface with something... that we are still going to work on," said Jain.

The team is still testing a number of scenarios, including which surfaces work best with their solution. Solvay USA, an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company, is a partner on the project. It's in the plans to work with a commercial company and make the spray available for purchase.


Source: 69 News WFMZ-TV