Highly Effective Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by Conjugated Polymers and Oligomers

medRxiv. 2020 Oct 6;2020.09.29.20204164. doi: 10.1101/2020.09.29.20204164. Preprint


The current Covid-19 Pandemic caused by the highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus has proven extremely difficult to prevent or control. Currently there are few treatment options and very few long-lasting disinfectants available to prevent the spread. While masks and protective clothing and social distancing may offer some protection, their use has not always halted or slowed the spread. Several vaccines are currently undergoing testing; however there is still a critical need to provide new methods for inactivating the virus before it can spread and infect humans. In the present study we examined the inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by synthetic conjugated polymers and oligomers developed in our laboratories as antimicrobials for bacteria, fungi and non-enveloped viruses. Our results show that we can obtain highly effective light induced inactivation with several of these oligomers and polymers including irradiation with near-UV and visible light. With both the oligomers and polymers, we can reach several logs of inactivation with relatively short irradiation times. Our results suggest several applications involving the incorporation of these materials in wipes, sprays, masks and clothing and other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that can be useful in preventing infections and the spreading of this deadly virus and future outbreaks from similar viruses.

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