Here at The Optimist Daily, we like to keep our readers informed about new innovative materials that are being developed, such as roads made from diaper pellets, ultra-strong glass inspired by mollusk shells, and even solar capture materials that can be integrated into clothing.
This time, scientists have created a breakthrough material that has the potential to revolutionize the cleanliness of surfaces. The novel product “RepelWrap” has turned heads of some of the biggest award organizations in the world, coming in first place in the global innovation competition Create the Future design contest.
Technology from nature
Scientists at McMaster University were inspired by the properties of lotus leaves. The leaves of the aquatic lotus plant, which is more famous for its beautiful flowers, are naturally liquid and pathogen repellent. The plants are used in products for their scents, flavors, and now for their Ultra-hydrophobicity, which is their water-repellant quality. The reapplication of this quality means that filth, grime, and other pathogens would slide off a treated surface like water on a leaf. The team utilized mother nature’s natural design to create a self-cleaning surface that could be used in a myriad of settings: phone screens, to door handles, to medical equipment, etc.
“This is a line of defense against emerging pathogens, including future threats we have not yet seen,” says Leyla Soleymani, who co-led the product’s development.
A new line of defense against sickness
RepelWrap has been in development for a few years now, with a number of papers being released, testing the limits of the material’s repelling powers. One report, published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, discusses the potential use and success of employing the material against coronavirus to reduce surface-based spread of the disease.
Source study: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces – Pathogen-Repellent Plastic Warp with Built-In Hierarchical Structuring Prevents the Contamination of Surfaces with Coronaviruses