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IPFS News Link • Pandemic

Researchers discover how certain elements and electric fields are remarkably effective...

•, by: Ramon Tomey

Researchers have discovered the power of electric fields and certain elements – including silicon, gold and copper – against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Two scientists from Curtin University in Western Australia found that the aforementioned elements, alongside electric fields, can be used to destroy SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins. The study authors, Essam Dief and Nadim Darwish, noted their discoveries in a February 2023 paper published in Chemical Science.

"Coronaviruses have spike proteins on their periphery that allow them to penetrate host cells and cause infection," study lead and corresponding author Darwish said in a media statement. "We have found [that] these proteins become stuck to the surface of silicon, gold and copper through a reaction that forms a strong chemical bond."

The two researchers dissolved SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike proteins in water and applied this solution to silicon wafers and sheets of gold, platinum, copper and stainless steel. They then closely scrutinized the material using atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging.

Dief and Darwish noted in the study that "the S1 spike protein remains connected to some surfaces, particularly [silicon] and [gold], despite significant washing. Similar reactions were observed in platinum and copper, while stainless steel "showed no covalent bonding" with the spike protein.