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April 2020

Better Days are Coming
One of the prior owners of ramé-hart who has since retired used to always say, "Better days are coming." It could be sunny and 70° F, the stock market could be up, and we'd be heading into a three-day weekend and he'd still say it, "Better days are coming." Perhaps those better days for him are those that define a simpler life in Florida without the cares and stress of being a small business owner. Nonetheless, now is a good time to say it again and so let me do so: "Better days are coming."

Our thoughts are with each of you and your family during this season of unprecedented disruption. As the Coronavirus situation evolves, we want to assure you that we will continue to support you to the maximum extent possible. We also have a business contingency plan in place and, as needed, we have the capacity to provide customer service and technical support from home locations. Our team is giving thoughtful consideration to how we can safely move forward. At this time, we want you to know that we continue to accept and ship orders. We are also committed to communication and continued excellent customer support. Please know that our hearts and thoughts are with each of you and yours during this chapter of uncertainty. Remember, better days are coming.

Coronavirus and Contact Angle
Who would have guessed just a few months ago that COVID-19 would become a world-wide pandemic that will profoundly affect our lives, our economies, and our way of life in 2020? Nearly the entire world is aware of COVID-19.1 Whatever compelling statistics I have the urge to share with you, I will refrain from doing so as those numbers will surely be out-of-date by the time you read this.

Rather, our discussion today will focus on how contact angle is used to develop surfaces, materials, methods, and products that inhibit the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. But first, let's be clear about how the virus is spread. Flu strains including COVID-19 are primarily spread through airborne droplets that are ejected from an infected person while coughing or sneezing. However, spittle and nasal discharge too small to see can also settle on a surface and then be transmitted when a person touches the contaminated surface.

One objective is to better understand how such a surface can be made antiviral in order to cut down on the spread of pathogens. One consideration is the actual anti-viral properties of materials. Researchers in England, for example, have discovered that influenza A particles cannot survive well on copper surfaces.2 Copper ions can disorder the RNA genome in the virus which can greatly curtail viral spread. This is critical since studies show that a finger that touches a virus-laden surface can then spread the virus to up to seven clean surfaces.3 That explains why schools, hospitals, airports, stadiums, and other high-traffic locations can be like Petri dishes for both viruses and bacteria alike.

Researchers at MIT have discovered that hydrophobic polycationic coatings can effectively kill certain influenza viruses.4 Polyethylenimines which are hydrophobic polycations, for example, exhibit both antibicrobial as well as antiviral properties. These coatings have been found to be an effective coating for orthopedic hardware which not only supports bone healing but also arrests infection.4

Of course, a lot of work has been done to develop superhydrophobic anti-fouling materials. Myriad studies explore the special superficial surface attributes to find compelling features that address particular objectives - including antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Researchers in Slovania, for instance, have proposed a sol-gel coating embedded with silver to produce fabric that is both omniphobic and antimicrobial and can retain the desired properties after being washed.6

Healthcare workers benefit from gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE)7 that can prevent the transmission of diseases such as COVID-19 which can be spread through body fluids and blood. By adding a hydrophobic finish to these products, droplets of body fluid can easily roll off.8 Research has shown that as contact angle increases on PPE products, efficiency in reducing virus carryover also increases.9 Silica and PTFE nanoparticles have been used to produce superhydrophobic self-cleaning fabric that is chemically stable, washable, and potentially ideal for medical gowns and other PPE.10 Due to the unique nano- and micro-scale structures, an ultra low surface energy surface with low contact angle hysteresis and roll-off angles under 5° can be achieved.

While novel materials and methods are a far cry from a cure for COVID-19, they will - along with safe practices - contribute to the protection of healthcare workers and others and help arrest the spread of pathogens. During this period of unprecedented challenges, we invite you to stay safe, practice good hygiene, and continue to hope for better days which do lie ahead around the next bend. 


  • Flu strains like COVID-19 spread primarily through droplets discharges when coughing or sneezing.
  • Pathogens can also be transmitted on contaminated surfaces.
  • Copper has unique antiviral properties.
  • Hydrophobic polycationic coatings have been shown to provide antiviral protection.
  • PPE can benefit from hydrophobic coatings and low roll-off angle.
  • Silver, silica, and PTFE nanoparticles have been used to develop fabrics that are superhydrophobic and self-cleaning.
  • Low roll-off angle reduces viral carryover.
  • Better days are coming.


1 With the possible exception of the uncontacted people of North Sentinel Island.
2 See this article.
3 See this article.
4 See this article.
5 See this article.
6 See this article.
7 Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes isolation gowns, shoe coverings, face shields, gloves, face masks, respirators, and head covers.
8 See this article.
9 See this article and this article.
10 See this article.


DROPimage Pro Software
A year ago we released our new DROPimage Pro software. This edition of DROPimage replaced DROPimage Standard but many new features were added - such as surface energy and surface tension capabilities. The video below illustrates the main features of DROPimage Pro which currently is shipping with Models 90 Pro Edition, 210, and 400. For more information on DROPimage Pro, visit this page.

DROPimage Pro Software Video


Carl Clegg
Director of Sales
Phone 973-448-0305
Contact us


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