Inactivation of various variant types of SARS-CoV-2 by indoor-light-sensitive TiO2-based photocatalyst
Ryuichi Nakano, Akira Yamaguchi, Kayano Sunada, Takeshi Nagai, Akiyo Nakano, Yuki Suzuki, Hisakazu Yano, Hitoshi Ishiguro & Masahiro Miyauchi
Photocatalysts are promising materials for solid-state antiviral coatings to protect against the spread of pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This paper reports that copper oxide nanoclusters grafted with titanium dioxide (CuxO/TiO2) inactivated the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, including its Delta variant, even under dark condition, and further inactivated it under illumination with a white fluorescent bulb. To investigate its inactivation mechanism, the denaturation of spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 was examined by sodium dodecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition to spike proteins, fragmentation of ribonucleic acids in SARS-CoV-2 was investigated by real-time reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). As a result, both spike proteins and RNAs in the SARS-CoV-2 virus were damaged by the CuxO/TiO2 photocatalyst even under dark condition and were further damaged under white fluorescent bulb illumination. Based on the present antiviral mechanism, the CuxO/TiO2 photocatalyst will be effective in inactivating other potential mutant strains of SARS-CoV-2. The CuxO/TiO2 photocatalyst can thus be used to reduce the infectious risk of COVID-19 in an indoor environment, where light illumination is turned on during the day and off during the night.
photocatalysts, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2