Efficacy of copper blend coatings in reducing SARS-CoV-2 contamination

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Biometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicine




Antiviral agent; COVID-19; Copper; Copper blend; SARS-CoV-2; Viral inactivation


SARS-CoV-2 is a highly infectious virus and etiologic agent of COVID-19, which is spread by respiratory droplets, aerosols, and contaminated surfaces. Copper is a known antiviral agent, and has resulted in successful reduction of pathogens and infections by 83-99.9% when coated on surfaces in intensive care units. Additionally, copper has been shown to inactivate pathogens such as Coronavirus 226E, a close relative of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we examine the ability of two copper blends with differing compositions to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus at different time points. Copper Blend 2 (75.07% pure copper) was found to significantly reduce (over 50%) the viability of SARS-CoV-2 at 5 min of contact, with at least 98% reduction in recovered virus at 20 min (vs. plastic control). However, Copper Blend 1 (48.26% pure copper), was not found to significantly reduce viability of SARS-CoV-2 at any time point when compared to plastic. This may indicate that there is an important percentage of copper content in materials that is needed to effectively inactivate SARS-CoV-2. Overall, this study shows that over the course of 20 min, coatings made of copper materials can significantly reduce the recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 compared to uncoated controls, indicating the effective use of copper for viral inactivation on surfaces. Furthermore, it may suggest higher copper content has stronger antiviral properties. This could have important implications when short turnaround times are needed for cleaning and disinfecting rooms or equipment, especially in strained healthcare settings which are struggling to keep up with demand.


Global Health