Drive fear free: Nissan's new technology can inactivate viruses and bacteria
Nissan has announced the invention of a new technology that claims to inactivate viruses and bacteria. The technology claims to have been developed in association with Tohoku University’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This technology uses organic nitroxyl radical oxidation catalysts or otherwise known as radical catalysts, which act as additives in the polymer base materials of automotive paints, as well as in the fibre and organic polymer materials used in vehicle cabins and exteriors as well.
In Nissan cars, the radical catalysts prevent photodegradation reactions such as cracking, embrittlement, and fading over long periods of time. The automaker claims to have been researching and developing other uses of radical catalysts in an attempt to make the most of their catalytic activity. In the case of viruses, radical catalysts inactivate viruses by oxidizing organic compounds, or more specifically, inactivating the spike protein so as to prevent binding with a human cell. "Nissan’s technologies and expertise in automotive development, and the Tohoku University faculty’s technologies related to drug development, drug evaluation, and other pharmaceutical sciences, catalyst preparation, and catalyst performance evaluation," said the Japanese automaker in a statement.
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Nissan also claims that the technology works on the SARS-CoV2 virus. The technology is claimed to work in dark conditions at room temperature without requiring light irradiation, as is usually the case with oxidation. The automaker also said that this technology could inactivate pathogens like fungi and bacteria as well. While the technology is still in the development phase, Nissan is mulling a more comprehensive application range for this system in future.
This is not the first time an automaker has implemented such technology. Previously, Honda too developed a technology that prevents viruses from entering the car cabin through the cabin air filter. The Japanese auto giant dubbed this technology as Kurumask, which is an antiviral product.