Researches at IIT Guwahati use the concept of ‘Engineered surface’ that helps detect and prevent coronavirus

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati has come up with a new method of preventing novel coronavirus where bio-interface interaction is used between the virus and the surface spike protein. Through this method, researchers have found a way to not only prevent the coronavirus but also detect its presence.

As per PTI, Lalit M Pandey, associate professor, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering said, “So far we are using antibody-based assays and RT-PCR based methods for testing during a pandemic. However, longer assay time, cost, complex procedures, and false positive or negative results are a few bottlenecks of these methods.”

The team that was involved in the process explained that coronavirus(SARS CoV-2)that surface spike glycoprotein covers the inner nucleic acid and the engineered surface can be easily applied for the prevention and detection of COVID-19, which is the disease caused by a coronavirus.

Pandey further assured that the bio interface interaction between the virus surface spike protein and the surface can be used for the rapid detection of the virus’s presence. He explained that the key step of transmission of coronavirus happens when there is an interaction between the spike protein and contacting surface which is why this can not be a quick detection method but also be a ‘very secure method of protection against the virus when applied on PPE’s.’

Reputed Journals like Material Science and Engineering C, Applied Surface Science, Langmuir, J. Phys. Chem. C and ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering have covered the team’s experimentation on surface modification and analysis of the bio-interfacial interactions.

The reaction of protein is different on different surfaces claims the research. It adapts to different conformations depending upon the properties of the surface. Thus, as Pandey explains, the characteristic of protein can be turned on an engineered surface by application of biosensors, implants, and drug delivery. “A recent special report suggested that the engineered sensor surface can be applied in Quartz Crystal Microbalance-based techniques, which are known for label-free, rapid and real-time detection with sensitivity,” Mr. Pandey said.

He concluded that this surface engineered method can be effectively used in PPE kits to achieve strong surface protein interactions.

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