Wow! IIT Bombay team to develop nasal gel to prevent spread of Coronavirus; details

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Published: April 9, 2020 1:02:31 PM

The number of Coronavirus cases has risen sharply in the last few days and has gone past a dangerous 5000 mark.

To eradicate the threat of the Coronavirus completely, the inactivation or killing of the virus is important.

IIT Bombay to develop nasal gel to fight Coronavirus! The Coronavirus outbreak has posed multi-dimensional challenges to the world and India. The battle against Coronavirus can’t be won without a multi-pronged approach that can work both to suppress the spread of the virus as well as attack it to stop creating further damage on mankind. With the same view, the government of India has said that it will support the innovations brought in to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the country. A statutory body under the supervision of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has announced that it will be supporting a new technology focussed on capturing and inactivation of the Coronavirus inside human beings. The technology is under development by IIT Bombay’s Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering (DBB).

The team is working to develop a gel that can be applied to the human nasal passage which serves as a primary entry point for the Coronavirus into human beings. The team at IIT Bombay has adopted a 2-pronged approach to tackle the Coronavirus inside human beings, a release from the Ministry of Science & Technology states.

The IIT Bombay’s team that is working on this project has Prof. Kiran Kondabagil, Prof. Rinti Banerjee, Prof. Ashutosh Kumar and Prof. Shamik Sen from the Dept. of Biosciences & Bioengineering. The team has worked extensively in the areas relevant to dealing with the Coronavirus crisis such as virology, structural biology, biophysics, biomaterials, and drug delivery. The team has expressed hopes that the nasal gel technology will be ready for use in about 9 months.

From various epidemiological findings, it is now established that coronavirus multiplies itself in the human lungs. The novel Coronavirus binds itself with the host cells of human lungs and then replicates into large numbers. The first objective for the gel under development will be to inhibit the binding of the viral component with the host cells of the infected person’s lungs. This, however, will only limit the replication of virus but the threat of it will still persist.

To eradicate the threat of the Coronavirus completely, the inactivation or killing of the virus is important. The second goal of the gel will serve that purpose. The gel will trap the viral component and will inactivate its working by competitive inhibition.

Lauding efforts of medical practitioners and health care workers across the country against Coronavirus, Secretary of DST, Prof Ashutosh Sharma said that health care workers and others working in the front-line of fight against the virus deserve a fool-proof, 200% protection and this under-development nasal gel along with other safeguard measures will provide a strong extra layer of defence while working as the first line of prevention against the Coronavirus outbreak in the Country.

The number of Coronavirus cases has risen sharply in the last few days and has gone past a dangerous 5000 mark. The death toll from the Covid-19 has climbed to 149 days. The Modi government had imposed a 21-day lockdown across the country on March 24 to reduce the chances of community transmission.

 

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