Cotton fabrics and textiles are ubiquitously useful in the household, healthcare, and commercial settings, but they may harbor a host of disease-causing pathogens due to the absence of intrinsic antimicrobial property. Copper-derived microbicidal coatings on flexible cotton substrates have drawn extensive interest. However, most of these coatings necessitate long contact times and high dosing levels to achieve complete elimination of pathogens, limiting their effectiveness against highly contagious viruses and bacteria. This study reports a highly potent antiviral and antibacterial coating fabricated in situ on commercial cotton fabrics. Constituting only 0.36wt.% relative to the substrate, the hydrophilic coating imparted by the self-assembled hexagonal nano-disks of [Cu4I4(TPP)4] (TPP = triphenylphosphine) clusters on cotton is able to eliminate >99.9% of murine hepatitis coronavirus (MHV, a SARS-CoV surrogate) and clinical isolate of the Gram-positive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within 2 min. Direct surface contact was experimentally verified to be the mechanism of action, whereby the coating induced disruption of the bacterial cell membrane. More remarkably, the coating is colorless, durable, skin-compatible, and easy to scale up, making it a promising technology to enhance our preparedness towards future global outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Highly Potent and Skin-Compatible Antimicrobial Coating via In Situ Self-Assembly of Copper Iodide Clusters
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