Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Antimicrobial Face Shield: Next Generation of Facial Protective Equipment against SARS-CoV-2 and Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

Version 1 : Received: 13 August 2021 / Approved: 16 August 2021 / Online: 16 August 2021 (11:38:49 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Tuñón-Molina, A.; Martí, M.; Muramoto, Y.; Noda, T.; Takayama, K.; Serrano-Aroca, Á. Antimicrobial Face Shield: Next Generation of Facial Protective Equipment against SARS-CoV-2 and Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 9518. Tuñón-Molina, A.; Martí, M.; Muramoto, Y.; Noda, T.; Takayama, K.; Serrano-Aroca, Á. Antimicrobial Face Shield: Next Generation of Facial Protective Equipment against SARS-CoV-2 and Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 9518.

Journal reference: Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 9518
DOI: 10.3390/ijms22179518

Abstract

Transparent materials used for facial protection equipment provide protection against microbial infections caused by viruses and bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains. However, transparent materials used for this type of application are made of materials that do not possess antimicrobial activity. They just avoid direct contact between the person and the biological agent. Therefore, healthy people can get infected through contact of the contaminated material surfaces and this equipment constitute an increasing source of infectious biological waste. Furthermore, infected people can transmit microbial infections easily because the protective equipment do not inactivate the microbial load generated while breathing, sneezing, or coughing. In this regard, the goal of this work consisted of fabricating a transparent face shield with intrinsic antimicrobial activity that could provide extra-protection against infectious agents and reduce the generation of infectious waste. Thus, a single-use transparent antimicrobial face shield composed of polyethylene terephthalate and an antimicrobial coating of benzalkonium chloride has been developed for the next generation of facial protective equipment. The antimicrobial coating was analyzed by atomic force microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy with elemental analysis. This is the first facial transparent protective material capable of inactivating enveloped viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 in less than one minute of contact, and the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Bacterial infections contribute to severe pneumonia associated with the SARS-CoV-2 infection, and their resistance to antibiotics is increasing. Our extra protective broad-spectrum antimicrobial composite material could also be applied for the fabrication of other facial protective tools such as such as goggles, helmets, plastic masks and space separation screens used for counters or vehicles. This low-cost technology would be very useful to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic and protect health care workers from multidrug-resistant infections in developed and underdeveloped countries.

Keywords

face shield; facial protective equipment; SARS-CoV-2; phi 6; MRSA; MRSE; polyethylene terephthalate; benzalkonium chloride; COVID-19; multidrug-resistant bacteria

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