A new experimental system shows that exposing SARS-CoV-2 to a very high temperature, even if applied for less than a second, may be sufficient to neutralize the virus so that it cannot infect anyone else.
That heat can neutralize covid-19 had already been proven in previous research. Now, the new study, published in the newspaper Biotechnology and Bioengineering in February, it shows that the phenomenon can happen in record time, that is, in less than a second.
Arum han, professor in the electrical engineering and computing department at Texas A&M University, and his team, demonstrated that heat treatment in less than a second completely inactivates the coronavirus – providing a possible solution to mitigate the continuous spread of covid-19, particularly through long-range airborne transmission.
The process works with the heating a section of a stainless steel tube, through which the researchers run the solution containing the coronavirus, at a high temperature and then cool the section immediately.
This experimental configuration allows the coronavirus, which passes through the tube, to be heated only for a short period of time. Through this rapid thermal process, the team found that the virus was completely neutralized in significantly less time than previously thought possible.
Han says that if the solution is heated to almost 72 degrees for about half a second, it can reduce the viral load of the virus by 100,000 times, which is enough to neutralize it and prevent its transmission. “The potential impact is huge”, observes the scientist.
This heat treatment not only represents a more efficient and practical solution to prevent the propagation of covid-19 through the air, but it also allows the implementation of this method in systems such as central heating or air conditioning.
It can also be applied in the management of other viruses, such as the flu, which also spreads through the air, writes the Futurity.
The team hopes that this method of heat inactivation can be widely applied and that it can have a real global impact.
Ana Isabel Moura, ZAP //