COVID-19: Scientists develop new tool that may help decontaminate viruses in aerosols

PTI | Houston | Updated: 30-01-2021 11:56 IST | Created: 30-01-2021 11:25 IST
COVID-19: Scientists develop new tool that may help decontaminate viruses in aerosols
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Scientists have engineered a new tool that exposes aerosolized virus particles to microwaves in a controlled manner, an advance that may lead to the development of novel methods to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, studies have found that the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spreads via aerosols that can be generated and spread through breathing, coughing, sneezing, or talking by infected individuals.

While previous studies have explored the use of electromagnetic energy to deactivate viruses in bulk fluids, the researchers, including those from the Air Force Research Laboratory in the US, said less work has been done to understand the role of microwaves in inactivating viral pathogens in aerosols.

In the current research, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, the scientists developed experimental tools capable of presenting electromagnetic waves to an aerosol mixture containing viruses. They said the apparatus offers the ability to vary the power, energy, and frequency of the electromagnetic exposure. With further research, the scientists hope to better characterize the threshold levels of microwave energy needed to inactivate aerosolized viral particles and reduce their ability to spread infection.

They believe the new experimental design can provide the means to identify a wide variety of virus inactivation mechanisms.

According to the researchers, the systems are designed to prevent the release of microwaves into the work environment since at high levels the radiation could potentially interfere with diagnostic equipment and other electronics.

They plan to expose coronavirus surrogate -- bovine coronavirus -- to microwaves at frequencies ranging from 2.8 gigahertz to 7.5 gigahertz (GHz).

In comparison, commercial microwave ovens operate at around 2.45 GHz. Explaining, the need for the surrogate virus, Brad Hoff, a co-author of the study from the Air Force Research Laboratory, said the bovine coronavirus is ''similar in size and configuration to human coronavirus, but is safe to humans.'' ''If shown to be effective, the use of microwaves may enable the potential for rapid decontamination not currently addressed by ultraviolet light or chemical cleaning for highly cluttered areas, while potentially operating at levels safely compatible with human occupancy,'' Hoff added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

BJP will not get even 70 seats in West Bengal: Mamata

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the BJP will not be able to win even 70 seats in the ongoing state assembly elections which many expect to be a cliff-hanger.Speaking at a rally at Dabgram-Fulbari in Jalpaiguri d...

Putin receives second shot of Russian COVID-19 vaccine - Interfax

President Vladimir Putin has received the second shot of a Russian COVID-19 vaccine, the Interfax news agency cited him as saying on Wednesday.The Kremlin said last month that Putin had received the first shot without disclosing details or ...

Decision expected on charges for cop who shot Black motorist

Prosecutors expect to decide Wednesday whether to charge the white former police officer who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, sparking nights of protests and raising tensions amid the nearby murder tri...

Former election commissioner Krishnamurty passes away

Former election commissioner GVG Krishnamurty died here on Wednesday due to age-related ailments.According to details shared by his family with the EC, the 86-year-old Krishnamurty passed away around 10 am.An Indian Legal Service officer, K...

Give Feedback