According to modern virus research, pathogens remain infectious on surfaces for a long time - nCoV-2019 up to 4 days, SARS for up to 9 days. Thus, even when quarantining, viruses spread through non-suspecting carriers and common surfaces, causing serious health issues and economic loss for the private and public sector. Current typical antiseptic agents are fast evaporating and have no ongoing effect against viruses or are significantly toxic to humans.
What it does
Our tool helps reduce virus spread and lessens the need of quarantining. Being more effective at deactivating viruses the method saves time and money in sectors, where hygiene is crucial: e.g airports, medical establishments, consumer goods supply chains etc.
The ultrasound induced mist coats items in seconds with a non-toxic virus killing agent, transforming everything to antiviral surfaces. Virus deactivation happens in 5-10 minutes, when the aerosol droplets containing virus come into contact with crystals on treated surfaces. A) Antiviral mist can be used in shared spaces, e.g airports, supply chains etc. B) On consumer goods surfaces: groceries, furniture, floors etc; C) For face masks and filters to increase efficiency and to make masks self sterilizing. Thus, the method is more effective than quarantining areas and enables everyday business to continue.
How we built it
- We researched materials and agents that have antiviral effect.
- Brainstormed methods of how to apply them in public spaces, consumer good chains and household products.
- Chose the simplest, safe and effective antiviral agent, which coincidentally seems one of the cheapest cheapest as well.
- Tested spraying methods with a variety of devices.
- Compared surface coverage under microscope and found interesting effects of crystal distribution.
- Ultrasound device gave initially best results, but also mixture results varied when changing agent composition.
- Tested ultrasound mist covering on face mask.
- As we have chemists as well as biologists in our team we started negotiating with bio-labs to test out our findings in real life.
- Started modeling consumer-grade product.
Challenges we ran into
Biggest challenge is that friendly bio-labs are currently closed due to corona outbreak and others are very expensive to run experiments at. Secondly, after validation, we are looking for distributors to sell our product. Our initial strategy to find investors/partners is to cooperate with airports, supermarkets, public/shared buildings and secondly or vendors that have a working brand to sell for personal usage.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We went through more then 200 publications to make sure science backs up our ides. We created a working PoC device, which will make any surface into virus killing area. We created an initial business plan and made contact with first possible customers.
We drafted a super useful multi-disciplinary team experience:
- chemistry/biology (+15 yrs),
- medical and aerospace engineering and manufacturing (+15 yrs),
- Development/Project leading (+10 yrs),
- AI/CV (7 yrs).
What we learned
Crazy-simple idea works! We created a hackathon product, which can save the world by writing 0 lines of code nor having to put AI into our headline. :)
What's next for AntiViral surfaces
Three major steps:
- Find finance to validate product in bio-lab: e.g confirming that spraying/misting the crystals kills all corona viruses on surface in 10 minutes and the surface remains antiviral even after 72 hours.
- Find partner for distribution of product.
- Find investor to loan for first batch of AntiViral tools.
Preferably one partner would suffice for all the needs and we can focus on tests, development and manufacturing.