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In the face of the epidemic, how to eliminate the virus is undoubtedly an important part of this battle. In addition to the long history of disinfection methods such as alcohol, hypochlorous acid, ozone, ultraviolet light, etc., in this wave of epidemics, special methods to combat SARS-CoV-2 (also known as the new coronavirus) have also been derived.

Research Team of Yang Hongwei, Associate Professor, Institute of Medical Science and Technology, Sun Yat-sen University Using protein technology, successfully produced suspended particles that can block the spread of SARS-coV2 in the form of “aerogel”, and named this suspended particle “NanoShield” (AirParma).

At present, Sun Yat-Sen University has licensed the technology to the startup company “NanoParma Biomedical” (NanoParma Biomedical), a spin-off of the scientific research and entrepreneurship project, and has entered the mass production and sales stage.

Photo/provided by Sun Yat-sen University

Aerosol is an important route of transmission of the epidemic

“Aerosol” is a kind of “tiny liquid droplets” or “particulate matter” suspended in the air. When people talk, sing, cough, or even breathe, they release many aerosols with a size below 5 microns; and When a COVID-19 infected person performs these exhalation actions, the virus can be released into the environment through aerosol.

Based on various research evidences so far, including field air sampling measurement analysis, epidemiological statistics, clinical and animal experiments, and aerodynamic simulations, the WHO officially recognized on April 30 this year that “aerosol transmission” is also COVID- 19 Important routes of infection.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, many super-spreader incidents have emerged one after another through aerosol transmission as an important means of infection. Therefore, how to reduce the spread of aerosol-borne viruses in the environment is even more urgent.

People usually release aerosol when they talk, sing, cough, or even breathe, which becomes the path for the spread of the new coronavirus. Figure/envato elements

Although commercially available alcohol sprays, hypochlorous acid water or ozone generators can fight the new coronavirus, these chemicals are likely to cause mucosal irritation, skin irritation, and even more serious allergies, so they are more suitable for spraying and wiping. They cannot be dispersed in the space for a long time to accumulate effective concentrations, which limits their effectiveness against the spread of viruses in the air.

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ACE2 is an important key to virus infection

Under such circumstances, Yang Hongwei, an associate professor of the Medical Institute of Sun Yat-sen University, led three doctoral students Xu Yingpei, Li Nanxuan, and Pang Haohan from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, forming an inter-departmental research team, using air defense systems as the blueprint for the original idea and successfully using recombinant proteins. Technology research and development “Nano-shield” suspended particles that bind to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the new coronavirus in aerosol to cause the virus to settle.

Photo/provided by Sun Yat-sen University

Associate Professor Yang Hongwei said that nanoshield suspended particles have been tested to bind 40% to 60% of the new coronavirus particles suspended in the air within 30 minutes, making them unable to interact with the second type angiotensin converting enzyme II (angiotensin converting enzyme II) on the cells. , ACE2) receptor binding to reduce the risk of virus transmission in the air.

It is currently known that the spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus will bind to the ACE2 on the surface of the host cell and thereby enter the host cell. Therefore, in theory, by preventing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from binding to ACE2, it can inhibit the virus from entering the host cell and causing infection. “Science” also reported that the difference in the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 among different people may be related to the performance of ACE2.

Sun Yat-sen University’s R&D team emphasized that “in addition to passive defensive measures such as social distancing, filters, and masks, the “NanoShield” anti-epidemic spray is a more active preventive measure.”

“NanoShield” is mainly suitable for application scenarios, such as aircraft cabins, carriages, and indoor confined spaces. It can be used during flight, epidemic prevention hotels, epidemic prevention vehicles, business meetings, restaurants and other high-risk venues.Instantly catch the new coronavirus in the air.At present, “NanoShield” has entered the mass production and sales stage, and will join the anti-epidemic front in the near future. It is expected that it can be used as an air defense missile to prevent the new crown virus.

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