Aquila Bioscience at NUIG has developed a technology, called Abwipe, which they say could prove a useful countermeasure to the Wuhan coronavirus, COVID-19. The technology was originally designed in consultation with the European Defence Agency to protect military and emergency personnel from biological agents such as anthrax.

Professor Lokesh Joshi, vice-president of research at NUIG and founder of Aquila Bioscience, told Gript that the technology currently takes the form of wipes, but that it could easily be adapted to masks and other protective clothing should circumstances require them.

The technology works by trapping microbes within a material, where they can be safely disposed of. As COVID-19 appears to be spread primarily through droplets or through contact with a surface that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on, the wipes would allow a person to easily remove COVID-19 from their hands or the surfaces around them, removing the risk of infection.

The technology involved may also prove invaluable when dealing with antibiotic resistant bacteria as the technology does not involve any antibiotic treatment. According to the World Health Organisation at least 700,000 people die each year to drug-resistant diseases.

Professor Lokesh Joshi, vice-president of research at NUIG and founder of Aquila Bioscience, told Gript that Aquilla’s technology has passed through testing and that discussions with manufacturers are currently ongoing.