There has been significant press coverage over the past few days following Cambridge University releasing a statement confirming the efficacy of the DiOX® D4 coating used on the LiquidNano™ facemasks.
As DiOX® D4 coating works by spiking the envelope of the coronavirus in a mechanical type “kill” its effectiveness against all types of Coronavirus is confirmed because all variants are enveloped.
“The antiviral agent within the coating of the mask kills the virus by breaching its protective outer membrane, which is known as its envelope. Unlike other parts of the virus, the membrane remains the same regardless of any type of mutation. Hence this way of attacking the pathogen will work on any new variant of coronavirus,” explained Dr Graham Christie, senior lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge.
“In fact, you could mutate the entire genome of the virus and it would have no effect on the envelope. We expect to see the same response regardless of the strain of coronavirus because structurally they are all very similar,” he said.
The technology called DiOX is based on quaternary ammonium salts – organic compounds widely used in the textile industry for their antimicrobial properties. Laboratory tests showed that the mask coated with it killed 95 per cent of pathogens on its surface within one hour and they were undetectable after four hours.
The action of the antiviral agent continues to work because it is unaffected by changes in the spike protein of the virus, which is the method by which coronavirus mutates.
“The variants that we are seeing occur in the spike proteins that stud the surface of the virus rather than the membrane of the envelope,” said Dr Christie.
“It is the genetic information that encodes this protein that is mutating, and this is leading to very slight structural changes in the shape of the spike. However, the envelope is derived from part of a human cell that the virus grabs from its host in order to protect its genetic material. It is made from lipids, which unlike the proteins do not change,” he said.
The Telegraph 13/2/21
The Times 16/2/21