Israeli startup creates surface coating to prevent pathogenic infection
Bio-Fence, an Israeli startup from the Kitchen Hub FoodTech incubator by Strauss, has developed an innovative antimicrobial coating technology that creates immediate and long-lasting bacteria and virus-free environments.
The company announced in April that its coatings have proven to be effective also in killing viruses and can provide a solution to protect public areas including workplaces, factories, public transportation, airports, airplanes, hospitals, stores and more.
Established under “The Kitchen” FoodTech incubator, owned by the Strauss Group in collaboration with Israel Innovation Authority, Bio-Fence has developed coatings designed to prevent infection by pathogenic bacteria, such as listeria and salmonella in food production environments. The effectiveness of these coatings has been proven in laboratories under International Standard ISO 22196 and in food sites in Israel and worldwide.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the company decided to test the effectiveness of its the coatings against viruses as well. The test was carried out in the laboratory of professor Mahmoud Huleihel, a renowned virologist from Ben-Gurion University.
The test results show that the company’s coating products completely destroy the herpes virus, which is significantly more durable than the coronavirus. It is well established that surfaces in areas inhabited by carriers of Sars-CoV-2 can be infected by the virus for many days, and therefore, frequent disinfection is required to prevent the risk cross-infection.
The anti-microbial coating developed by Bio-Fence is based on this effective chlorine killing mechanism. It is unique in providing long-lasting protection, and by that significantly reducing the required frequency of disinfection.
The technology is based on an innovative polymer, which can be combined within paints and coatings, providing them the ability to bind and stabilize chlorine. This, in turn, protects the coated surfaces for extended periods of time. The coatings are transparent and can be sprayed or painted quickly without damaging coated surfaces. This immediately creates an active, stable protection layer against the virus in case of infection.
Bio-Fence is currently developing a kit for testing the levels of active chlorine on the surfaces, to notify users when it should be reapplied (a simple action carried out by spraying or smearing a chlorine solution provided by Bio-Fence).
Ofer Shoham, Bio-Fence CEO, said through a press release:
“For the past two years, Bio-Fence has developed technology that eradicates bacteria and viruses leaving a clean environment. We focused on disease-causing bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria, reaching significant achievements and proven feasibility in field conditions. The world’s population is currently experiencing a significant change in lifestyle as a result of the coronavirus.
“We identified the need for an immediate and viable mechanism to allow a safe return to the working environment and routine we are all accustomed to. We were delighted to have this opportunity to join the global battle battle against the spread of the coronavirus.”
Bio-Fence was established in early 2018 through a collaboration between Strauss’s FoodTech incubator, and experts in the field based on a core technology developed at the Israeli Institute of Biological Research (IIBR).
The company’s initial goal was to meet the growing need to create a safe food production environment due to the frequent infections in pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli. The company presents an innovative and unique solution in the growing market of antimicrobial coating. More recently, the technology was proven to be effective against viruses as well and the company has shifted its efforts to join the global effort against the coronavirus.
The company’s development lab is located in the Bio-Gav complex of Hadassah, Jerusalem, and enjoys the support of the Jerusalem Development Corporation.