CORDIS - EU research results

COVID-19 pandemic: An innovative, safe and effective bio-decontamination technology for non-toxic removal of biological agents, including coronavirus

Project description

An innovative decontamination product against COVID-19

Most decontaminating agents against pathogens such as COVID-19 or influenza virus are based on chemicals that cannot be used repeatedly on skin as they may lead to health complications. The EU-funded ABwipe project is developing a unique product that exploits the mechanism of pathogen binding. Based on a cellulose matrix, it contains carbohydrate–protein binders with a strong affinity for pandemic agents such as influenza and coronavirus. Apart from its disinfectant capacity, which has the potential to impede infection spread, the ABwipe material can be used in forensics and diagnostics for pathogen identification.


Infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, plague, Ebola, SARS and flu, caused by biological agents, are among the most serious and least predicted threats facing the global community. As we currently experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, bioagents can cause enormous societal and economic damage. Unlike, in the case of chemical, radiological or nuclear incidents, like e.g. in Chernobyl where people could not do much to stop the spread across Europe, in the case of the COVID-19 outbreak, public has a real power to reduce the impact by social distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene and decontamination in an attempt to flatten the curve.

Current decontamination solutions are suitable for hard surfaces but based on chemicals that cannot be used repeatedly on skin because they are harmful to humans, lead to health complications (hormonal imbalance, allergic reaction and dryness etc.) and damage the environment. There has been a lack of innovation in human-decontamination technologies over the decades and there is a clear need for technologies that can deliver safe, effective and immediate decontamination of human skin. The technological innovation of ABwipe offers a paradigm shift in decontamination.

ABwipe is a unique product, inspired by nature and exploiting the mechanism of pathogen binding. It is made up of a matrix material (cellulose fibres) with attached carbohydrate-protein binders, carefully selected with strong affinities for biothreat agents, including pandemic agents such as influenza and coronavirus. ABwipe not only decontaminates but also captures and contains biological agents. This is a significant capability that reduces the impact, impedes the spread of the infection and allows forensics and diagnostics to identify harmful agents. It is an effective, safer, better and fit for purpose solution for potentially devastating bioagent threat to the society, saving lives, restoring the health of victims and returning contaminated areas to a safe state

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 940 968,75
Moycullen Galway

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Ireland Northern and Western West
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 2 772 812,50