WTAMU engineering students develop technology to help stop spread of viruses

Coronavirus: 6 steps you can take to prevent it

CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - Some engineering students at West Texas A&M University have developed technology to help stop the spread of viruses and bacteria.

The technology, Copper Clean, will soon be tested to see if it protects against the spread of COVID-19.

Copper Clean is an antimicrobial patch that protects high touch surfaces from the transfer of harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses.

The technology was originally created to help protect soldiers from biological weapons.

“Researchers across the Texas A&M System are working to battle the coronavirus,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “Up at West Texas A&M, they’ve deployed technology developed to protect soldiers from biological weapons to help make campus a little safer. Doors at West Texas A&M University will soon be able to resist some common harmful pathogens for up to two years thanks to a clever invention by graduate engineering students there. And soon it’s going to be tested on COVID-19.”

Dr. Emily Hunt, dean and professor of Mechanical Engineering at WTAMU, explains how the technology helps stop the spread of these harmful pathogens.

“We wanted to come up with something that everyone can use." said Dr. Hunt. "When a bacteria or a virus or a fungi come into contact with a copper particle, it produces ions that break down the DNA of that actual microorganism. Once that microorganism experiences that breakdown, it can’t reproduce and it’s effectively mitigated.”

While Copper Clean doesn’t solve the problem of the virus transfer, Dr. Hunt says it protects high touch surfaces and people that we care about.

Copyright 2020 KFDA. All rights reserved.