The Elements of Innovation Discovered

CopperTouch fights the spread of disease

Spray-on copper coating inactivates COVID, MRSA, Ebola, more Metal Tech News – July 14, 2021

From Ebola outbreaks in Africa to illnesses picked up at the local hospital or clinic, finding a highly effective and efficient means of fighting infectious disease has been a priority for healthcare workers long before the coronavirus known as COVID-19 emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, and rapidly spread around the world.

Frustrated by the lack of affordable antimicrobial products for use in healthcare facilities, Dr. Alfred Mitchell began investigating the microbe fighting powers of copper more than a decade before COVID became a household term.

From a time when the science behind copper's antimicrobial properties was not understood, Ancient Egyptians used copper to heal wounds and for vessels to keep water fresh. Today, the science behind the self-sanitizing power of this metal is still not fully known. However, laboratory tests show that 99.9% of pathogens that cause infection, including bacteria with high antibiotic resistance, are eliminated within four hours of coming in contact with a copper surface.

Knowing that coating high-touch surfaces in hospitals and clinics with copper could lower the transmission of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), a problem for one in 31 hospital patients according to the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Mitchell began looking for an effective and efficient way to imbue hospital surfaces with the microbe-fighting power of copper.

This search led Dr. Mitchell to team up with Tom Valente, an inventor and entrepreneur who developed a liquid metal coating technique for his custom furniture business.

Valente also had a personal reason to team up with Dr.Mitchell in the development of antimicrobial surfaces for healthcare facilities – a close family member of the furniture building entrepreneur was diagnosed with hospital contracted MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection that often spreads in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

To tackle the HAI problem, the furnituremaker and doctor combined their expertise to create LuminOre CopperTouch, a cold-metalizing system that applies a smooth, seamless layer of real antimicrobial metal on various materials such as plastic, metal, and wood.

LuminOre CopperTouch is the first and only Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered antimicrobial copper product that forms a seamless layer on almost any surface.

CopperTouch surfaces have undergone rigorous testing to obtain EPA registration, which verifies LuminOre's claims that its spray-on coating inactivates disease-causing microbes in two hours.

LuminOre CopperTouch's antimicrobial copper and copper-nickel surfaces were tested on five strains of bacteria:

Staphylococcus aureus – most common bacteria found on your skin (staph infection, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, strep throat).

Enterobacter aerogenes – possible HAI that affects the intestines.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – a cause of staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics.

Escherichia Coli O157:H7 (E. Coli) – E. coli O157 is a relatively harmful strain that can damage the lining of the intestines and kidneys.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa – an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection often spread to people in healthcare settings.

Laboratory testing has shown that when cleaned regularly, the CopperTouch surface:

Continuously reduced bacterial contamination, achieving a 99% reduction within two hours of exposure.

Killed greater than 99.9% of gram-positive and gram-negative (referring to a color staining technique used to identify strains of bacteria) within two hours of exposure.

Delivers continuous and ongoing antibacterial action, remaining effective in killing greater than 99.9% of bacteria within two hours.

Helps inhibit the buildup and growth of bacteria within two hours of exposure between routine cleaning and sanitizing steps.

And was found to continuously kill bacteria left behind by dirty hands on the surface, killing more than 99.9% of the bacteria within two hours.

A June 17 case study shows that LuminOre CopperTouch copper and copper-nickel surfaces are also highly effective at inactivating filoviruses (a virus family that includes Ebola and Marburg), as well as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for COVID-19.

It was discovered that the copper-treated surfaces inactivated 99.9% of Ebola (a rare and deadly disease where the body bleeds until death) and Marburg (similarly causes hemorrhaging and organ failure) viruses after 30 minutes, as well 99% of SARS-CoV-2 in two hours.

The study found that Ebola, Marburg, and SARS-CoV-2 are inactivated by exposure to copper ions, validating LuminOre CopperTouch as an efficacious tool for infection control.

LuminOre has developed numerous copper and nickel-copper products that have been EPA-approved for use in healthcare facilities – hospital beds, handles and doorknobs, soap trays, cabinet knobs, and pulls as well as computer mice are among the products offered.

Further development is being made toward healthcare, commercial, consumer, and even transportation industries.

High-touch surfaces and products such as bedrails, carts, trays, walkers, IV poles, wheelchairs, control panels, magazine racks, TV remotes, windowsills, baby changing stations, lockers, elevator buttons, seats, laundry hampers, radiators, exercise equipment, backsplashes are on a list of products under development.

In addition to healthcare facilities, these LuminOre products could lower the transmission of disease in high-traffic areas such as airports, train stations, bus stations, cruise lines, and even schools.

With the evidence showing the effectiveness of copper as an antimicrobial coating, peer-reviewed and approved by the EPA, coating more hospital surfaces with this metal could solve a healthcare problem, and a copper-coating of high-touch surfaces in the wider world could prevent the spread of COVID and other diseases that send many to hospitals and clinics in the first place.


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