According to an official statement, a team of researchers has developed a plasma-based disinfectant that could be used as a green and environmentally friendly decontaminant for COVID-19. According to the researchers, plasma generated by cold atmospheric pressure (CAP) has the potential to deactivate the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The team includes scientists Dr Kamatchi Sankaranarayanan, Dr Mojibur R. Khan, and Dr H. Bailung from the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology’s (IASST) Life Sciences and Physical Sciences divisions. IASST is an autonomous research institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
When plasma, the fourth state of matter that makes up the majority of the universe, is created under controlled laboratory conditions, it is referred to as Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma.
According to the statement from the Science and Technology Ministry, the scientists passed plasma-forming gases such as Helium, Argon, and Air through a high voltage electric field, resulting in the formation of a stable plasma composed of ions and electrons emitting a pink glow of CAP inside the reaction chamber.
This research, which was recently published in the international journal RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) Advances, demonstrates that within two minutes of CAP treatment, short-lived highly reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) generated in the plasma result in the complete deactivation of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein.
According to the ministry, the RT-PCR analysis also established that CAP can deactivate the RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Sankaranarayanan and Bailung, the lead authors, stated that the disinfection method could be expanded to treat a variety of bacterial and fungal infections.