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Revolutionary New Carbon-Based Material Captures and Destroys Coronavirus

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 07 May 2020
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Image: Revolutionary new carbon-based material captures and destroys coronavirus (Photo courtesy of Tortech Nano-Fibers)
Image: Revolutionary new carbon-based material captures and destroys coronavirus (Photo courtesy of Tortech Nano-Fibers)
A revolutionary new carbon-based material developed by scientists and engineers can capture and destroy an animal coronavirus, a close relative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

According to a report by Cambridge Independent, the material was developed by a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK) in collaboration with Tortech Nano-Fibers (Ma'alot-Tarshiha, Israel). In the UK, the project team is led by Q-Flo which is delivering an Innovate UK-funded grant, while in Israel, the development and manufacturing efforts are being led by Meir Hefetz, Tortech CTO.

The ‘active virus filter’, in the form of a thin carbon nanotube mat named TorStran has filtration and air permeability properties which allow it to capture free virus molecules and those contained in airborne aerosolized droplets. Both filtration and virus disruption take place simultaneously, thus allowing the filter to reduce the risk of infection by removing contamination from the air. The researchers believe that the filter will be particularly useful in confined situations such as emergency vehicles, hospitals, transportation, waiting areas and wards.

“The original objective of the process was to make ultra-strong conductive fibres for a wide range of applications,” said Prof Alan Windle FRS, one of the original inventors of the process to make the nanotube material at the University of Cambridge. “The fact that the nanotubes compressed into an otherwise randomly oriented mat makes an excellent filter for virus-bearing airborne particles of moisture are suddenly very important as the world faces its current Covid-19 crisis.”

“Our teams in Israel and the UK, including colleagues at Cambridge University, have worked flat out over the past few weeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of the TorStran active virus filter in catching and ‘killing’ the virus. We are looking for partners who can work with us and move at speed to bring Active Virus Filter units into service,” said Dr. Shuki Yeshurun, joint CEO of Q-Flo and Tortech.

Related Links:
University of Cambridge
Tortech Nano-Fibers

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