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With induction against coronaviruses

The picture shows a person cleaning a door handle with disinfection.
(Photo: tatyanaBuzmakova_Krasnova / Pixabay)

The extent to which smear infections are responsible for the spread of the coronavirus has not yet been sufficiently scientifically clarified. The research group of Prof. Dr. Karl Mandel, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, FAU, is investigating how infection with SARS-CoV-2 or other viruses via surfaces can be avoided without the use of conventional and often environmentally harmful disinfectants. The research project “Inductively Heatable Protective Films to Combat COVID-19” will be funded for the next one and a half years with a total of 120,000 euros from the Volkswagen Foundation as part of the “Corona Crisis and Beyond” initiative, in which the most interesting projects were selected from over 1100 project proposals.

In public spaces, contact surfaces are usually treated with the help of disinfectants. Critical points here are the proper application of the agents, the protection of the cleaners, and the proper disposal of the materials used.

However, viruses can also be rendered harmless by heat. For this reason, Prof. Mandel’s group is investigating an alternative process that makes use of induction. To this end, they want to develop a silicone layer with synthetic magnetic particles that can be applied to surfaces such as door handles without much effort. In the process now being tested, a mobile inductor is passed over this suitably prepared surface to locally heat the magnetic particles it contains for a fraction of a second, killing the viruses on the surface while leaving the underlying material undamaged.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Karl Mandel

Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy
Professorship for Inorganic Chemistry (Prof. Dr. Mandel)