The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a respiratory virus that is primarily transmitted through droplets or aerosols. When a healthy person encounters infected droplets/aerosols, such as those that are generated while talking to or coughing by a SARS-CoV-2 infected individual, they are at an increased risk of contracting the infection.

Importance of antiviral and antibacterial fabrics

Although fabrics serve a wide range of functions, most antiviral and antibacterial fabrics lack systematic research and commercialization. Currently, industries associated with the development of antiviral textile fabrics are experiencing great demand owing to a high requirement for hygienic and clean fabrics. In fact, several studies have shown that the coating of fabrics with certain can prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Metal-based nanoparticles possess many physicochemical features that allow them to interact with viruses and other harmful microorganisms. For example, gold, copper, silver, titanium, and zinc nanoparticles exhibit wide-ranging antiviral activity, even at a small dose. Antiviral textiles could be manufactured by attaching nanoparticles such as silver, copper, zinc, and zeolite by physical adsorption and ion exchange to textile products.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) act as good carriers of functional nanoparticles when coupled with antiviral elements such as zinc and silver that are subsequently grafted onto the textile. Previous studies have shown that zinc-imidazolate (ZIF-8) MOFs on textile fabrics exhibit promising adsorption capacity for viruses and bacteria, which can be inactivated under light. However, some of the disadvantages of using ZIF-8 MOFs are its high initial mass release, limited durability, and decreased comfort of the fabric.