Washington. Researchers have developed new molecules that can be sprayed into the nose to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering the lungs and causing infection. When people breathe in, the virus of COVID-19 enters the body through the respiratory tract through the lungs, resulting in illness.
Engineers at Johns Hopkins University in the US have now created thin, thread-like strands of molecules called supramolecular filaments, which are able to stop the virus in its path. The purpose is to have the filaments act like a sponge to absorb the COVID-19 virus and other viruses in our respiratory tract before they have a chance to replicate in cells, said Honggang Cui, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering. will do.
Cui, who led the research published in the journal Matter, said the remedial measure can block the virus for an hour or two, but it may be more effective when used in places where there is a large presence of people. Key to this research is that the filaments carry a receptor called angiotensin converting enzyme-II, or ACE-II, which is also found in the lining of the nose, the surface of the lungs, and the cells of the small intestine. They have many biological roles, such as controlling blood pressure and inflammation.
The corona virus mainly enters our body through this receptor. Researchers know that adding additional ACE-2 to the respiratory tract can block virus entry. Because ACE-II has biological functions, giving the body too much ACE-II can also lead to unexpected complications.
Our plan is to use it as a nasal or oral spray, so that it can be inhaled into the lungs or remain on the surface of the airways and lungs, Cui said. When a person comes in contact with the COVID-19 virus through breathing, the virus can be inhibited. The researchers said that since the filaments attract the specific spike protein of SARSCoV-2, it should work equally well on any current or future strain.
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