Environmental Chemistry Environmental Chemistry Society
Environmental problems - Chemical approaches
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Assessing the optimal conditions for surface-mediated disinfection of Influenza A virus solutions

Ilaria Mannelli A , Davide Janner B , Francesc Sagués A and Ramon Reigada A C D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Departament de Ciència dels Materials i Química Física, Universitat de Barcelona, c/ Marti i Franqués 1, Pta 4, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

B Dipartimento di Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino 10129, Italy.

C Institut de Química Teòrica i Computacional (IQTCUB), Universitat de Barcelona, c/ Marti i Franqués 1, Pta 4, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

D Corresponding autor. Email: reigada@ub.edu

Environmental Chemistry 14(5) 319-326 https://doi.org/10.1071/EN16213
Submitted: 5 January 2017  Accepted: 24 May 2017   Published: 16 June 2017

Environmental context. Transmission of viruses is related to their survival while being outside the host body. By means of experimental and computational simulations we assess the optimal conditions for virus deactivation upon contact with particularly functionalised substrates. These results constitute the basis for the design of new surfaces with high antiviral activity that can be important in public or sensitive environments such as in hospitals where the contamination and spreading of viruses are a critical issue.

Abstract. The abundance of pathogenic microorganisms in the environment and the ease of their transmission through several paths is a critical issue in many daily human activities. Within the different transmission paths, contact with contaminated surfaces provides a chance for the development of surfaces with special characteristics that are able to reduce the spread of microorganisms through their deactivation by contact. The development of ‘active’ surfaces with antiviral properties requires the understanding of the molecular interaction mechanisms between functionalised surfaces and lipid-enveloped entities. By means of a study based on experimental and computational methods we have assessed that surfaces that are simultaneously hydrophobic and oleophilic are more efficient for disinfecting aqueous virus solutions. The combination of these features causes the disruption of the viral lipid envelope upon contacting the surface, and as a consequence the virus’ destruction and deactivation. Our results suggest new and more effective design strategies for functionalised surfaces that may be of interest for applications in sensitive environments.


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