But an international roll-out may encounter wariness by regulators, given little is known about the long-term health consequences of people breathing in nanoparticles, according to Dr. Michael G. Schmidt, a microbiology and immunology professor at the Medical University of South Carolina.
"I am a strong proponent of copper being continuously antimicrobial and using it in specific solutions, but I think this is a technology that's not ready for this epidemic," he said.
Vittorio Stacchetti, co-founder of Aintech, said the company has conducted several studies at Italian lab Merieux NutriSciences that prove the product's effectiveness. There's no proof particles are dangerous to humans because the copper concentration is so low, he said, adding that Chile's Institute of Public Health has approved the product and is processing its registration.
"What happens is that we are talking about very, very small particles," he said. "These get into the microporosities of all the surfaces and they are fixed there."