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Home / News / HeiQ & Xefco make XViroblock anti-viral textile treatment

HeiQ & Xefco make XViroblock anti-viral textile treatment

Dec '20
Pic: HeiQ
Pic: HeiQ
HeiQ and Australian-based materials science and technology start-up, Xefco, have launched XViroblock, a thin-film antimicrobial copper surface treatment for textiles proven to exhibit significant viricidal activity against SARS-CoV-2 after only five minutes. HeiQ is a leader in textile innovation, creating high-performance textile effects in the market.

Studies conducted by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) showed textiles finished with XViroblock inactivated SARS-CoV-2, with significant inactivation occurring within five minutes of direct contact. By developing textile treatments that provide rapid viricidal and antibacterial functionality, Xefco hopes to reduce transmission of disease by reducing the persistence of pathogens on treated surfaces, according to a press release by HeiQ.

Researchers from the Doherty Institute exposed XViroblock treated textiles to known infectious concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 for incremental periods of time before extracting and measuring the remaining infectious virus titre. The testing proved a statistically significant reduction in infectious virus titre within five minutes of exposure, compared to untreated textile. Further studies conducted also showed that the treated fabrics significantly degraded the SARS-CoV-2 genome in a treatment concentration and time of exposure dependent manner.

Xefco specialises in innovative thin-film coating technologies for the textile industry offered to outdoor apparel, fashion and home textile markets. At the onset of the pandemic, the business identified an opportunity to leverage its existing proprietary coating technologies and developed a process to apply a thin-film surface coating of copper onto textiles. The company has since shown efficacy of its technology against viruses including SARS-CoV-2, influenza A virus subtype H1N1, Human Coronavirus 229E and also bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

“The antimicrobial properties of copper are well-established. Our technology harnesses these incredible attributes through our unique process of applying an ultra-thin surface coating of the metal onto textiles. XViroblock can be applied to hydrophobic materials that are difficult to treat via conventional textile finishing methods. This unlocks new applications in personal protective equipment, medical textiles and air filtration aiding the defence against COVID-19. XViroblock may help reduce the transmission of infectious viruses particularly in applications where materials may not be replenished quickly or easily such as PPE used by front-line healthcare workers and air filters on planes and restaurants,” Tom Hussey, CEO and co-founder, Xefco said.

“Studying antiviral properties of materials and treatments like XViroblock is a key part of our ongoing research that aids the fight against COVID-19. Our experimentation proves the XViroblock treated fabrics exhibit significant viricidal activity against SARS-CoV-2,” Julie McAuley, senior research officer at the Doherty Institute said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

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