Copper3D is a 3D printing firm located in the US. It utilizes nano-copper additives and includes antimicrobial attributes to polymers such as TPU and PLA to make antibacterial 3D printed items. Last year, the firm collaborated with NASA to research microbial risks in external areas. However, the firm is handling a significant project which is a bit near to home.
In 2017, the number of kids and adolescents living with HIV hit 3 million. This is with 430,000 recently infected individuals and 130,000 deaths associated with AIDS cases. This is as stated by UNICEF. The UNAIDS states that in 2018, 26,000 fresh infections of HIV among kids up to 14 years followed the abandonment of medication in breastfeeding and pregnancy.
However, even with this know-how, WHO states that 37.9 million individuals across the world were existing with HIV at the end of 2018. This is with 8.1 million of them not knowing they had the infection to start with.
Firms and experts across the world are working to utilize technology to help control deadly viruses and bacteria with high replication rates such as HIV. Copper3D has made an additively manufactured tool with its copper nanotechnology. The device has the ability to completely deactivate the HIV virus when in the appropriate setting on specific objects. This is a project which the Director of Innovation of the firm, Daniel Martínez says this; “the result of more than one year of research in antimicrobial polymers and the role on inactivating high replication rate viruses like HIV.”
Copper3D’s Medical Director, Dr. Claudia Soto, stated this, “Understanding the global problem behind the HIV statistics and analyzing the role that our antimicrobial materials could have in containing the transmission of HIV virus led us think that we could develop some kind of device that acts like an interface between mother and child to prevent the spread of this virus through breastfeeding, which is one of the main routes of infection.”
“The initial idea is based on some of the few available studies that establish that copper based additives and filters can inactivate HIV virus in a solution of breastmilk, acting specifically against the protease (essential for viral replication) where copper ions non-specifically degrade the virus phospholipidic plasmatic membrane and denaturalize its nucleic acids; nevertheless, several issues such as toxicity levels, milk nutritional degradation, time for virus inactivation, or the optimal size/form of these filters remain unsolved,” she added.
Copper3D, headed by co-founders CEO Andrés Acuña and Martínez, Dr. Soto started handling a project with 2 lines of study. Last year, they presented a license application for the project known as Viral Inactivation System for Breastmilk Shield to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.
Initially, the viral deactivation success of its PLACTIVE substance was an experiment with specimens of HIV-infected breast milk. After that, the crew created an object that corrects the “viral inactivation of HIV” in the milk. This acts as an interface between mother-to-child during breastfeeding.