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Tech company teams up with university to create longer lasting disinfectant for COVID-19

The disinfectant, which can also be used for other viruses, is still a work in process.

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An Orlando technology company is working with the University of Central Florida to come up with a new disinfectant against the coronavirus.

"I was in a local grocery store and I saw an employee spray a disinfectant on a door handle then immediately wipe it off. My first reaction was like oh my goodness, he didn't disinfect it,” Christina Drake said.

She says it's just not practical or safe in a public place to leave a surface wet for a couple of minutes to actually disinfect it.

In April, Drake, who owns the Orlando-based Kismet Technologies, reached out to her doctoral advisor during her graduate studies at UCF and a UCF virologist.

The trio came up with what they call a rapid-acting, longer lasting COVID-19 disinfectant.

Once applied to a hard surface, their disinfectant spray creates a temporary film.

"And what's nice about the particle, it's synthetic because it's a particle, it's not a chemical that dries up and runs off, it can continue to disinfect over and over again,” Drake said.

Drake said there are no harsh chemicals and everything in it is safe to use and has been used in other EPA-approved products for disinfectants.

The disinfectant, which can also be used for other viruses, is still a work in process.

"We're creating a robotic finger basically to see how many times the surface can be touched, what happens, how stable is the film,” Drake said.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded a $256,000 grant to the team to advance the project.

"I'm hoping that in about a year's time frame, we'll have gone through the registration process and be getting things manufactured to put out,” Drake said.