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Nanoscale spikes 96% effective at impaling and destroying common virus

Date: 31.1.2024 

Researchers have developed a silicon surface covered in nanosized spikes that is 96% effective in impaling and destroying a common virus responsible for causing respiratory illnesses, particularly in infants and young children. The technology could be used to safeguard researchers, health workers and patients from viral spread.

Kredit: Universitat Rovira i Virgili.Of the four strains of human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs), HPIV-3 is the most virulent and can lead to bronchiolitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia in infants and young children. Yearly, seasonal outbreaks of HPIV-3 infections are common, with the virus spread via airborne transmission or direct and indirect contact with contaminated surfaces.

No vaccines or antivirals are currently available to prevent or treat HPIV-3 infections, making maintaining general and surface hygiene a priority. Now, researchers from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) in Spain and Australia’s RMIT University have collaborated to develop a spiked silicon surface with impressive virus-killing properties.

Inspired by dragonfly wings, RMIT researchers have already demonstrated the efficacy of using a nanoscale spiked ‘mechano-biocidal’ surface made of titanium to impale and kill antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

The study’s findings demonstrate the effectiveness of using silicon nanospikes as a virucidal. The researchers foresee the technology being applied in labs and health centers where potentially dangerous biological materials are housed, making these environments safer for researchers, health workers and patients.

Image source: Universitat Rovira i Virgili.





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