One-step synthesis of new nanomaterials with higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity

(Nanowerk News) The Theoretical and Computational Chemistry research group at the Universitat Jaume I, led by Professor Juan Andrés Bort in collaboration with a research team from the Brazilian Centre for the Development of Functional Materials (CDMF), led by Professor Elson Longo, is currently working on the synthesis, in a single stage, of new nanomaterials based on compounds formed by nanoparticles (NPs) of silver and silver wolframate, α-Ag2WO4, with higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity.
The pandemic caused by this virus has become a critical problem, and obtaining new materials to eliminate and prevent the contagion is a priority for R&D and Innovation centres all over the world. Metal nanoparticles combined with semiconductors are gaining more and more attention as broad-spectrum anti-virus agents to protect surfaces and packaging by preventing the spread of the virus and infections in humans. The properties of nanomaterials are linked to the methods of synthesis.
The laboratories of the Universitat Jaume I and the CDMF have a long history of research and collaboration in this field of more than thirty years and have developed manufacturing processes that allow nanomaterials with an improved biological response to be obtained.
The goal is to use green, environmentally friendly, one-step synthesis routes of new Ag NPs/α-Ag2WO4-based nanomaterials with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. In addition, a pilot plant will be set up to develop these new functional nanomaterials and a spin-off company will be responsible for designing new technologies to minimise the impact of the coronavirus.
The work carried out in this field by the scientists at the two research centres has enabled them to synthesise and develop more advanced nanomaterials, made up of silver NPs and semiconductors that deactivate microorganisms, such as those used in the manufacturing of masks that are being distributed free of charge in different hospital centres in the São Paulo metropolitan area.
The company that produces the masks, Nanox Tecnologia, has been marketing products and equipment based on the results and developments obtained in research by UJI and CDMF research staff for over a decade. In the case of the mask, the differential capabilities of this product are the prevention of cross infection caused by pathogens, such as bacteria and opportunistic fungi, responsible for the worsening of COVID-19 and other types of virus.
Its possible application on the surfaces of ceramic materials and glazes and on fruit and vegetable packaging is currently being investigated to prevent the spread and infection of humans by bacteria, fungi and viruses. The discovery of these new materials has enabled the QTC-UJI Laboratory, together with the CDMF, to carry out innovation and technology transfer projects with several companies in the ceramic, textile and plastic sectors in the province of Castellón and with other Spanish and European companies.
The Laboratory of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry has a long history of research that has enabled it to position itself as a centre of recognised international prestige for the generation of new technologies. Its director, Professor Juan Andrés, has established a new multi and interdisciplinary field of R&D and Innovation, in a wide action framework where chemistry, physics, quantum mechanics, materials and surface science, catalysis and nanotechnology converge.
The projects promoted by the QTC have generated over 14 patents and have achieved demonstrable results on the frontier of scientific and technological knowledge, being published in leading scientific journals such as Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, ACS Applied Bio Materials, and Scientific Reports. They have obtained new materials and modulated their properties for technological applications, such as gas sensors, photocatalysts, and materials containing silver nanoparticles, synthesised by electron and/or laser irradiation, with very powerful bactericidal and antifungal properties.
The scientific and technological research and development work carried out in the Theoretical and Computational Chemistry laboratories of the UJI and in the CDMF of Brazil is a clear example of how from basic, fundamental and oriented research, a high scientific, technological and socioeconomic impact can be achieved, which can, in this case, contribute to obtaining and applying materials for the design and manufacturing of new technologies that minimize the impact of the pandemic.
The project has been presented to competitive call "COVID-19 Express Call: Innovative solutions for fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic" which is pending resolution and is part of the initiative of declarations of interest for the search of collaborators for the development of innovative projects and solutions around the SARS-CoV2 and the COVID-19 disease from FISABIO, the UPV, the UJI and the Health Research Institute La Fe.
Ag Nanoparticles/α-Ag2WO4 Composite Formed by Electron Beam and Femtosecond Irradiation as Potent Antifungal and Antitumor Agents. Scientific Reports. 2019. DOI:
Tailoring the Bactericidal Activity of Ag Nanoparticles/α-Ag2WO4 Composite Induced by Electron Beam and Femtosecond Laser Irradiation: Integration of Experiment and Computational Modeling. Applied Bio Materials. 2019. DOI:
Source: Asociación RUVID
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