Inactivation of Human Coronavirus by Titania Nanoparticle Coatings and UVC Radiation: Throwing Light on SARS-CoV-2.Viruses. 2020 12 24; 13(1)V
The newly identified pathogenic human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, led to an atypical pneumonia-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak called coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated as COVID-19). Currently, nearly 77 million cases have been confirmed worldwide with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Individuals are getting vaccinated with recently approved vaccines, which are highly protective in suppressing COVID-19 symptoms but there will be a long way before the majority of individuals get vaccinated. In the meantime, safety precautions and effective disease control strategies appear to be vital for preventing the virus spread in public places. Due to the longevity of the virus on smooth surfaces, photocatalytic properties of "self-disinfecting/cleaning" surfaces appear to be a promising tool to help guide disinfection policies for controlling SARS-CoV-2 spread in high-traffic areas such as hospitals, grocery stores, airports, schools, and stadiums. Here, we explored the photocatalytic properties of nanosized TiO2 (TNPs) as induced by the UV radiation, towards virus deactivation. Our preliminary results using a close genetic relative of SAR-CoV-2, HCoV-NL63, showed the virucidal efficacy of photoactive TNPs deposited on glass coverslips, as examined by quantitative RT-qPCR and virus infectivity assays. Efforts to extrapolate the underlying concepts described in this study to SARS-CoV-2 are currently underway.