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Gloucestershire Business News

Tests confirm Versarien's graphene inhibits coronavirus

An independent study has shown modified graphene materials produced by Versarien can inactivate the virus which causes Covid-19.

And Neill Ricketts, chief executive of the Cheltenham advanced engineering group, believes the results can have major daily uses in the fight against coronavirus.

The study, undertaken by Ankara University in Turkey, found two graphene nano platelets doped with metal oxide nanoparticles showed more than 99 per cent inhibition to the virus.

The report concluded the tested materials "significantly inhibited viral infection and suggests that these materials possess anti-viral activity."

Mr Ricketts said Versarien would be working flat out to turn the results into practical use and would continue to work with the Turkish team to investigate anti-viral properties of other materials.

He said: "While we must stress that these results have been achieved under laboratory conditions, they do demonstrate that our hybrid graphene nanomaterials have the potential to provide protection from Covid-19.

"The results provide us with sufficient levels of confidence for our combined Gnanomat and 2-DTech teams to move to rapid testing of these materials in real-world applications as diverse as face masks, clothing and surface treatments, together with investigating the protection that they can provide from other viruses and bacteria."

Versarien have been producing face masks during the pandemic and Mr Ricketts said the engineered materials can be used in practical applications such as plastics, frames, PPE textiles and phone cases, helping to prevent cross-contamination.

"Our job now is to take that knowledge and put it into use that enables us to get back to something approaching normal," he said.

"We are going to try to do this as quickly as possible, the team is working hard in difficult times - we have had people in Madrid working through the height of the outbreak in Spain.

"The pressure is on us to scale up as soon as we can."

He continued: "It's something everybody needs and we will be as quick as we can."

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