With food coloring sprays, scientists seek to neutralize COVID-19

New products appear every day to combat the coronavirus (Shutterstock)

A group of professionals headed by Young Kim, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue University, has just published a report which takes an exotic variant in terms of virus control.

“Our biomedical engineering laboratory,” he explained. has developed a way to potentially neutralize airborne viruses using food coloring sprays FDA approved. Aerosols are small pieces of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air ”.

His idea was inspired by photodynamic therapy, which it is a medical treatment, even for certain types of cancer. This treatment alternative uses a photosensitizer, a chemical that reacts with oxygen in the presence of light to produce oxygen free radicals. These radicals are highly reactive, which means that they trigger other chemical reactions, including those that kill harmful pathogens.

Biomedical engineering lab developed a way to potentially neutralize COVID-19 viruses (Shutterstock)

Biomedical engineering lab developed a way to potentially neutralize COVID-19 viruses (Shutterstock)

Instead of using expensive medical photosensitizers, the research authors have identified various food colors FDA approved that can be used to generate free radicals in visible light. We use ultrasound to generate small aerosols that contain the food coloring so that the dyes can float and stay in the air – they relate in their document. “The aerosols are barely visible and their small size and short shelf life means they don’t stain surfaces. “

They used this technique to produce a device, Photodynamic Airborne Cleaner, which disinfects airborne pathogens. Based on your experience, this is the first photodynamic therapy aerosol generator for disinfection in the air.

The value of the find

Viruses and bacteria are often transmitted through the air. A person infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, who coughs or sneezes produces droplets and aerosols containing viruses that float in the air and can cause infection.

Due to this risk, all types of indoor meetings are now limited. It is essential to be able to disinfect and do it with large volumes of indoor air where there are many people in order to reduce the chances of transmission.

These food coloring sprays are FDA approved (Shutterstock)

These food coloring sprays are FDA approved (Shutterstock)

Photodynamic therapy was used for first time as a means of fighting bacterial infections. Oxygen free radicals, specifically singlet oxygen, also can inactivate viruses by damaging the nucleic acids, proteins and lipids that make them up. In particular, singlet oxygen is effective in breaking down the lipid envelopes that form protective layers around many viruses. Most viruses that are harmful to humans, including SARS-CoV-2, have these envelopes.

Various other disinfection techniques are available, for example, Aerosolized hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen peroxide vapor, ozone, vapor, and UV-C or deep UV lighting. However, these are more appropriate for disinfecting surfaces than for disabling airborne pathogens. Additionally, they can be dangerous to humans. For example, deep ultraviolet rays are commonly used as a disinfectant, but they are carcinogenic.

Food coloring sprays FDA approved and their singlet oxygen generation they don’t last long. These dye sprays they degrade in light and singlet oxygen is not generated without light. However, although the food coloring is approved by the FDA for consumption, the safety of possible inhalation and oral intake still needs to be tested.


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