Researchers are developing a long-lasting surface spray with potential to kill viruses and bacteria



Researchers from the University of Queensland have developed a long-acting surface spray that has the ability to kill viruses such as COVID-19 and deadly bacteria.

The spray contains a protein that allows it to stick to surfaces and remain effective for 24 hours and is evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in commercial cleaning.

led team Dr. Heather Shewan from the University of Queensland Faculty of Chemical Engineering He set out to create a spray to use on various surfaces to kill COVID-19 and bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

We used hydrolyzed gelatin which basically helps form a thin film that allows the spray to stick to surfaces and can stay there for at least a day and possibly longer.


This durability means that it lasts longer than a standard cleaner and has potential for use in high usage areas such as public transportation, kitchens, hotels, retail outlets, hospitals and public areas.”


Dr Heather Shewan is from the University of Queensland’s School of Chemical Engineering

The research was conducted in partnership with Australian cleaning products manufacturer OzKleen, with the protein supplied by Beaudesert GELITA Australia.

Dr. Shewan enlisted the help of a virologist Dr. Kirsty Short and microbiology Dr. Deirdre Mikkelsen To provide the required multidisciplinary expertise.

The team used several methods to test the spray, which is a cost-effective manufacturing process that is environmentally friendly.

“In one test we sprayed glass surfaces with the cleaner and let it dry on the surface, and 24 hours later we added the COVID virus and other tests showed it didn’t survive,” Dr. Short said.

“We also ran other tests that showed that even after rinsing surfaces with water, spraying significantly reduced the amount of virus that was able to survive on stainless steel.”

OzKleen chief executive Mark Quinn said the spray will be manufactured and produced in Queensland and potentially exported around the world.

“This is a very exciting initiative and the results show that this product can be used in public places around the world and will help make the world a safer place,” said Mr Quinn.

“Not only will this product create jobs and grow the state’s economy, it will put Queensland on the world map as an innovator and manufacturer of world-class products.”

Queensland Minister for Innovation Stirling Hinchliffe said the research was made possible by a $90,000 Queensland Industry Advanced Fellowship grant.

“The Queensland Advanced Industry Research Fellowships have a strong track record of translating research into practical uses for industry, creating good and safe jobs and attracting investment to Queensland,” said Minister Hinchliffe.

“Since 2016, we have invested $45 million in six rounds of Advanced Industry Research Fellowships in Queensland with funding from 197 fellows.

Each fellowship creates an average of three jobs per research project and expects to create an average of 12 additional jobs after completion of the project.

“The partnership between the University of Queensland research team, Queensland cleaning products manufacturer OzKleen and Beaudesert company Gelita Australia (Gelita) is now receiving international attention.

“Once approved, it will be manufactured on the Gold Coast and have the potential to create up to 30 quality and secure jobs for Queenslanders.”



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