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Self-sterilising plastic could be the future of PPE and other hospital disposables

Liz Blamire

16th September 2022

The BBC have reported on the development of a self-sterilising plastic, which demonstrates the ability to render viruses such as Influenza A and SARS COV-2 inactive.

Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have developed a thin plastic that is treated with titanium oxide, which means that when it is exposed to light, it destroys viruses through a photocatalytic process.

Studies have shown that viruses such as SARS COV-2 can exist outside of the body for up to 72 hours, whilst norovirus (commonly known as winter vomiting bug) can exist on surfaces for anything up to 2 weeks.

Therefore, it is hoped that this thin plastic film might be used for aprons, curtains and table coverings in healthcare settings.

Read more:

Self-sterilising plastic kills viruses like Covid

Flexible, disposable photocatalytic plastic films for the destruction of viruses

Liz Blamire

Liz is the current tutor2u subject lead for Health and Social Care. She is a former NHS midwife, who has worked in community, birth centre and acute hospital settings. Liz is an SSAT Accredited Lead Practitioner, who has taught Health and Social Care in FE and secondary schools, where she was a successful HOD. Liz is an experienced senior examiner and author.

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