The covers are currently being developed by the University of Latvia (LU) together with Microbiology Laboratory, the Biomedical Research and Studies Centre, and Rīga Technical University.
We can hardly do anything today without touch screens. They are on our phones, tablets, self-registers, queueing devices, ATMs. However, all these places are rich in bacteria and can also contain viruses, including coronavirus.
“We make very thin coatings that can hardly be seen with a naked eye. We can apply several layers one over the other. Finally, we get coverage that is both antimicrobial and anti-viral,” said Mārtiņš Zubkins, lead researcher at the LU Institute of Solid State Physics.
The head of the laboratory, Juris Purāns, said that the aim is to create transparent material. The new coatings created in Latvia could, in the future, be incorporated into, for example, smartphone screens or films to be placed on the phone. Viruses will not stick to this material or, if it happens, it will quickly be disinfected.
It is possible that the new material created in Latvia will be applied on tape. In this case, it could be affixed, for example, to door handles. The studies are carried out in collaboration with local producers. This means when everything is ready, patented and certified, there will be companies in Latvia that could also start production.