SUSTech anti-fog application powers medical workers to tackle virus
Chris Edwards | 02/26/2020

“When I saw what was happening in Wuhan, Hubei Province, and across the country, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t sit still. I had to do something. I didn’t sleep for nearly three days until we got these out.”

Associate Professor Sun Dazhi

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

 

A research team from Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen, China, has incorporated nanotechnology into disposable anti-fog disinfectant wipes and spray that protects front-line medical workers working against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Hubei Province.

SUSTech has donated six hundred thousand anti-fog wipes in one thousand containers and twenty thousand spray bottles of anti-fog wipes. The anti-fog disinfectant wipes and spray are the results of research by Associate Professor Sun Dazhi from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE).

SUSTech University Council Chairperson Guo Yurong, President Chen Shiyi, Shenzhen Municipal Government Deputy Secretary-General Wang Gang, and Hubei Provincial Office in Shenzhen Deputy Director Mou Song attended the donation ceremony, along with SUSTech and government officials.

SUSTech President Chen Shiyi praised all the front-line healthcare workers who have dedicated themselves during this period and thanked the SUSTech community that had banded together under scientific innovation to support the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He highlighted the responsibility that the scholars and students of SUSTech are shouldering as they continue to contribute to society through their scientific and technological innovations.

Hubei Provincial Office in Shenzhen Deputy Director Mou Song thanked SUSTech and the Shenzhen municipal government for their ongoing aid during this challenging phase.

Shenzhen Municipal Government Deputy Secretary-General Wang Gang said that SUSTech’s scientific spirit reflected its genes borne from Shenzhen’s innovative essence. The Shenzhen municipal government and party committee will work with their counterparts in Hubei Province to facilitate the proper distribution of the materials. He praised SUSTech for taking a different approach to supporting the efforts of healthcare workers across Hubei Province.

SUSTech Secretary-General Chen Siqi presided over the short ceremony, which ended with the donated products blessed and loaded onto a truck going direct to Hubei Province.

Scientific innovation knows no bounds

The anti-fog wipes are distinctive in that they showcase both sterilization and disinfectant properties, while also lasting for over 24 hours. These anti-fog wipes feature unique, safe, and non-toxic nanomaterials that form a long-lasting transparent hydrophilic protective film on the surface of the. The protective film significantly reduces the surface tension of water droplets and the possibility of light scattering, thereby eliminating the issue of fogging. The wipes incorporate a 75% alcohol-based solvent component to destroy the organic structure of bacterial viruses. It is special in that it is a commercially produced anti-fog wipe that provides a sterile and disinfected surface for more than 24 hours.

SUSTech has long encouraged its faculty members, scholars, and students to make full use of the abundant scientific resources available to them. Under the umbrella of “research, innovation, and entrepreneurship,” that is the SUSTech spirit, the entire community is contributing to the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering has been working relentlessly in finding new solutions to assist front-line medical workers in Hubei Province and across the country. Department Head Cheng Xing led his research team to develop a low-cost sterilization and disinfection kit that fits on a desk. His equipment safely extends the life of personal masks by making them reusable. It will help relieve the pressure on the supply of personal protective masks when factories and schools reopen for business. The equipment can also help medical personnel to quickly disinfect personal items such as gloves, goggles, and facemasks.

SUSTech Institute of Future Networks Technology Dean Liu Yunjie led a collaborative research team to develop a COVID-19 early warning system called NCP Transmission Route and Early Warning System (TWS). The Institute of Future Networks Technology works jointly with Peng Cheng Laboratory, Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen), and the National University of Defense Technology through the application of cutting-edge technologies like the Internet of Things, AI, big data, and virus propagation models.

SUSTech is using its public scientific research platforms such as the Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center for stronger scientific cooperation between SUSTech and the Second Affiliated Hospital of SUSTech (Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital).

As SUSTech strives to become a world-class university, rooted in China that serves the construction of an innovative country and a modern international city in Shenzhen, SUSTech thrives in the creative genes of its birthplace. It has established a wide range of protocols to encourage its scholars and students to convert their research outcomes into technology. These efforts have seen nearly fifty companies founded by the SUSTech community in its short history.

Scholars push boundaries of science to support society

SUSTechers have never been a group to rest on their laurels. As more feedback returns to the team, they will continue to improve on their design and develop new uses for their anti-fog wipes.

Associate Professor Sun Dazhi worked with his research group and MSE graduate Zhang Zhi, the co-founder of Shenzhen Nanke New Material Technology Co., Ltd., to develop their anti-fog wipes and spray. The teams worked relentlessly, developing their pilot design within three days in a collaborative manner. Their initial donation to the Second Affiliated Hospital of SUSTech (Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital) was well received and provided opportunities for enhancements of the design to the anti-fog wipes and the development of the anti-fog spray.

The Shenzhen municipal government has supported the production of the anti-fog wipes and spray, by working with several government organizations to arrange for their rapid production. SUSTech has assisted Sun Dazhi and Shenzhen Nanke New Material Technology Co., Ltd. to move into more extensive laboratories to increase their production capacity. As of this week, they can produce sixty thousand pieces per day.

Associate Professor Sun Dazhi said, “The inconveniences and difficulties encountered by front-line medical staff are worrying. At SUSTech, we can pursue excellence in innovation to fight against COVID-19 with our scientific and technological know-how.”

Background information:

Associate Professor Sun Dazhi and MSE graduate Zhang Zhi founded Shenzhen Nanke New Material Technology Co., Ltd in 2016. It is a scientific and technological enterprise dedicated to the development, transformation, and industrial operation of new material technology. They have established four subsidiary companies to hold projects. Their fundamental business covers fields such as industrial engineering, energy conservation and emission reduction, and public health.

In 2018, Shenzhen Nanke New Material Technology had its advanced nano-lubrication materials industrialization project listed in the Top 50 of the “2018” Disruptive Innovation Awards,” at the National Public Entrepreneurship Innovation Week. Last year, it received an industry-university research cooperation innovation award at the China Industry-University Research Cooperation Awards. They earned it for the “Development and Application of Advanced Nano-lubricating and Anti-wear Materials” project.

Shenzhen Nanke New Material Technology has worked actively with students to teach them how to become ready-made entrepreneurs. Associate Professor Sun Dazhi and graduate student Zhang Chentao have acted as advisors and mentors to students who have gone on to win many awards across Shenzhen and the Greater Bay Area.

2020, 02-26
By Chris Edwards

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Translated and Adapted By SUSTech Newshub

Proofread ByXia Yingying

Photo ByDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering

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