Scientific research continues to make important advances in combating the pandemic. In the UK, a team from the Healthcare Technologies Institute at the University of Birmingham has worked to create an aerosol capable of providing protection against the coronavirus and the results of the trials have demonstrated the efficacy of this tool.
The aerosol was created using existing compounds commonly used in medical devices, food products and medicines. The study carried out by the scientists of this British institution details cell culture experiments designed to test the solution’s ability to inhibit infection, as explained by Medical Writing.
Prevents the virus up to 48 hours
The researchers found that the virus-cell cultures inhibited infection for up to 48 hours after being treated with the solution. “This spray is made from readily available products that are already being used in food and medicine products and we deliberately incorporated these conditions into our design process. It means that, With the right partners, we could start mass production in a few weeks, “ stated the study’s lead author, Richard Moakes.
The spray is made up of two polysaccharide polymers. One of them is an antiviral agent known as carrageenan, element that is commonly used in food as a thickener, and the other is a solution called gellan. The latter is a component that has the ability to spray into droplets inside the nose, where it is able to stay stable without slipping off.
“Although our noses filter thousands of liters of air each day, there is not much protection against infection and most airborne viruses are transmitted through the nasal passage. The spray we’ve formulated provides that protection, but it can also prevent the virus from spreading from person to person. “ says another of the study’s authors, Liam Grover.
Simple to remove
According to the researchers, the aerosol is capable of capturing the virus by covering it inside the nasal cavity, which allows it to be eliminated simply by swallowing or blowing the nose. In addition, it prevents the body from absorbing the virus thanks to its encapsulation in the viscous layer of the aerosol, so it can also be removed with a handkerchief.
Thus, The viral load in the body and the possibility of transmitting the virus to other people are reduced even when sneezing or coughing in a closed space. Therefore, scientists consider that its use will be especially recommended in places such as airplanes, trains and even in schools, since it could prevent new infections.
However, they emphasize that the aerosol is “a second layer of protection”, which does not imply that measures such as the use of masks and hand hygiene are no longer applied, factors that “will continue to be vital to prevent the spread of the virus,” stresses Richard Moakes.