The “Safety4Guest” project was created six months ago by the company Maroco in collaboration with the Center for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials (CeNTI) and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (INEB) with funding from the Portuguese government.
Miguel Costa, Maroco’s administrator, told the Lusa news agency that the project’s aim is to “increase the safety of products used in the hotel sector.”~
According to him, cleaning with the use of spray is common in the textile industry as it is “more ecological when compared to other conventional techniques” as it uses less water, energy and raw materials.
To test the new product, the researchers used bacteriophage Fi6, a virus that is structurally similar to SARS-CoV-2 but which infects “only and exclusively bacteria”, INEB researcher Joana Barros explained to Lusa.
CeNTI researcher Lorena Coelho said that the main challenges were “selecting the best performance formulation” and improving “the spray application technology,” identifying “some formulations with 100 percent antiviral performance.”
The formula has already been tested in several domestic washes and “remains effective” after five washing cycles at 40 degrees Celsius with a common detergent, Costa said.
“All I want is to contribute so that we can overcome the pandemic and that people start to feel confident,” he said.
According to Costa, the technology will be presented to the Portuguese Directorate-General for Health for use in cleaning the “fabrics used in reusable masks.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), face masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress COVID-19 transmission and save lives.