The airborne nature of coronavirus transmission makes it critical to develop new barrier technologies that can simultaneously reduce aerosol and viral spread. Here, we report nanostructured membranes with tunable thickness and porosity for filtering coronavirus-sized aerosols, combined with antiviral enzyme functionalization that can denature spike glycoproteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in low-hydration environments. Thin, asymmetric membranes with subtilisin enzyme and methacrylic functionalization show more than 98.90% filtration efficiency for 100-nm unfunctionalized and protein-functionalized polystyrene latex aerosol particles. Unfunctionalized membranes provided a protection factor of 540 ± 380 for coronavirus-sized particle, above the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standard of 10 for N95 masks. SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein on the surface of coronavirus-sized particles was denatured in 30 s by subtilisin enzyme-functionalized membranes with 0.02-0.2% water content on the membrane surface.

Fuente: Communications Materials

Published: 24 May 2022