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Verification of fact: scientists have developed tissue that can destroy coronavirus

There are many reasons to be skeptical of Internet messages claiming that a material or substance kills the coronavirus. Social networks can become a source of a whole stream of tips mentioning all kinds of home remedies, which range from unproven to very dangerous ones, writes USA Today.

Photo: Shutterstock

This means that it would be perfectly normal to be surprised to come across an article in the Indianapolis Monthly, also published on social media, which says that scientists have discovered tissue that "kills the coronavirus."

But it seems that this statement has a scientific basis. USA Today conducted its own investigation, finding out what is behind this discovery.

Based on FDA Approved Concept

Researchers have found that low-level electric fields can make coronavirus unable to infect humans after minutes of exposure to such a field. And this is not a new technology.

The concept of electrical fabric was developed several years ago by Chandan Sen, now the director of the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering at Indiana University School of Medicine. Working at Ohio State University in 2017, he created an electric-based antimicrobial dressing that was approved by the FDA and sold by Vomaris under the name Procella.

On May 14, Sen talked in detail about the possible use of COVID-19 in a preliminary study published online on the ChemRxiv preprint server, which hosts early versions of studies prior to official review and publication.

When the coronavirus pandemic began, Sen thought about how his research could help fight the infection, he said in a YouTube video published by Indiana University.

“We've tried to spend some time understanding the physical form of this virus, and perhaps identifying its weaknesses that we could look at,” Sen said.

On the subject: Scientists come up with a mask that glows when a coronavirus is detected

Coronaviruses generally rely on electrostatic interactions to assemble themselves into an infectious form and “attach” to humans.

The electrical fabric is composed of polyester with a series of metallic dots - alternating silver and zinc - printed on the surface in a geometric pattern. These metals, when exposed to moisture, create trace elements that generate an electrical charge. This does not require a wire or external battery.

“Then we thought that our dressing could destroy these electrostatic forces, and we started testing it. The results seemed very promising, ”Sen said in the video. - You are using a very weak electric field, harmless to humans, but capable of eliminating bacterial infections. We are currently working on combating fungal infections, and now we see that it can also disable viruses. "

Vomaris, through its FDA Emergency Approval program, has applied for face mask fabric against COVID-19.

Indianapolis Star announced May 26 that the company hopes to use fabric for the development of two products: a washable mask with a disposable insertable layer of pharmaceutical fabric, and a mask designed for single use. The company hopes these products will hit the market by the fall flu season.

“The use of personal protective equipment is essential to protect healthcare providers from COVID-19,” says Sen's study. "However, the use of these products poses a significant threat in and of themselves, as removing contaminated protective equipment containing viable viral particles can infect a person and potentially spread the infection."

On the subject: Homemade face masks: how and from which fabric it is better to make them

Conclusion USA Today: The information is true. The publication evaluates this statement as true and based on research. But there is an important warning: these conclusions are preliminary. The use of tissue has not yet been reviewed or approved by the FDA, but initial studies show that electronic tissue is indeed capable of neutralizing the virus after a minute of contact with the electric field created by the tissue.

The company, which is already producing this product for use as a wound dressing, hopes to prepare it for release later this year for use in antiviral face masks.

In the U.S. cloth coronavirus Special Projects COVID-19

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Thousands of people become coronavirus infected by quarantine: what they do wrong

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