Treating COVID-19 with Ultrasound Assisted?
Coronaviruses appear to be sensitive to ultrasound vibrations, which fall within the range of frequencies used in medical diagnostic imaging. This can be used in treatment as well as to prevent infection with the Coronavirus.
It is possible to destabilize corona viruses with the help of ultrasound and even break their shell, according to the results of a study in which researchers from the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) participated. The study was published in the Journal of the English Language.Solid State Mechanics and Physics Journal“Was released.
How are corona viruses organized?
The structure of the spiky coronavirus is similar due to its densely packed surface receptors. The spike-like proteins bind to healthy cells and lead to the invasion of viral RNA. Experts report that while the virus’s engineering and infection strategy is now well known, little is known about its physical safety.
The team has created a shakeout model for the coronavirus
Using computer simulations, the team engineered the mechanical response of the virus to vibrations at a range of ultrasound frequencies. Experts found that vibrations between 25 and 100 megahertz cause the virus envelope to collapse and rise within a fraction of a millisecond, causing it to begin its refraction. This effect was observed in simulating the virus in both air and water.
Ultrasound treatment for corona viruses?
According to the research group, the results are only preliminary and are based on limited data on the physical properties of the virus. However, the team reported that their findings could provide a first hint of a potential ultrasound-based treatment for coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
How exactly ultrasound can be used for treatment and how effective it is in destroying the virus in complicating the human body is one of the most important questions that experts have yet to clarify.
The vibrations damaged the virus
“We have demonstrated that under excitation by ultrasound, the shell and spikes of the coronavirus vibrate, and the amplitude of this vibration becomes very large, which creates pressures that can break down certain parts of the virus, leaving visible damage to the outer shell and possibly invisible damage.” Study author Professor explained Tomach Wiersbeki of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Prof. Press release.
The focus of the research group is on solid and structural mechanics and the investigation of how materials are fractured under various pressures and loads. Experts wanted to learn more about the potential rupture of the Coronavirus in their current investigations, and thus they began simulating the new Corona virus and its mechanical response to vibrations.
The researchers used simple concepts of solid matter mechanics and physics to build an engineering and computational model of the virus’s structure that relied on limited information in the scientific literature, such as microscopic images of the virus’s cortex and spine, according to the report. .
How is the shell of the coronavirus built?
In previous studies, experts have already decoded the general structure of coronaviruses. The researchers explain that this structure consists of a smooth shell made of lipoproteins and tightly packed steel-like receptors that protrude from the shell.
With this engineering in mind, the team modeled the virus as a thin, flexible shell covered with about 100 rubber nails. Since the exact physical properties of the virus are not yet known, those skilled in the field have simulated the behavior of this simple structure on a range of elasticity for both the coat and backbone.
The physical properties of the nails are still unknown
“We don’t know the physical properties of the nails because they are so small – they are about ten nanometers in size. What is less known is what is inside the virus, which is not empty but is full of RNA, which in turn surrounds a protein shell. So this modeling requires a lot of assumptions. Professor Werzbecky explains.
Can sound vibrations break the virus?
“We are confident that this flexible model represents a good starting point,” adds the expert. The question remains through which tensions and viral pressures could explode. To answer this question, the researchers used sound vibrations in the simulations and observed how the vibrations rippled through the structure of the virus across a range of ultrasound frequencies.
The team initially started with oscillations of 100 megahertz, or 100 million cycles per second, which, based on what is known about the physical properties of the virus, would likely be the natural oscillation frequency of the envelope.
The vibrations cause the shell to deform
When they exposed the virus to ultrasound excitation at 100 MHz, the normal oscillations of the virus were initially undetectable. But within a fraction of a millisecond, the external vibrations, which resonated with the normal frequency of the virus’s vibrations, caused the crust and spikes to bulge inward, like a ball plunging to the ground, experts explain.
The virus has penetrated the treatment
When researchers increase the amplitude or intensity of the vibrations, the shell can break – an acoustic phenomenon known as resonance, which also explains how opera singers could break a glass of wine if they sang just the right pitch and volume.
At the lower frequencies of 25MHz and 50MHz, the virus disperses and refracts faster, both in simulated environments made of air and water, which are similar to the density of liquids in the body. According to Professor Wierzbicki, these frequencies and intensities are in the range that is also used in medical imaging and is therefore considered safe.
The treatment is being tested on pigs
To improve and validate the simulations, the team is working with microbiologists in Spain who are using an atomic force microscope to monitor the effects of ultrasound vibrations on a type of coronavirus that only occurs in pigs.
If it is experimentally proven that ultrasound harms Coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and if this damage is proven to have a therapeutic effect, it will be a historic discovery. For example, ultrasound, which is already being used to break up kidney stones and release drugs via liposomes, can be used to treat and possibly prevent coronavirus infection.
In addition, researchers expect that miniature ultrasound transducers built into phones and other mobile devices may be able to protect people from the virus.
However, Professor Wierzbicki stresses that more research is needed to verify whether ultrasound can be an effective strategy for treating and preventing coronaviruses. As his team works to refine existing simulations with new experimental data, Wierzbicki plans to investigate the specific mechanisms of the novel and the rapid mutation of SARS-CoV-2 in more detail. The expert adds: “We looked at the general coronavirus family, and now we’re looking specifically at the morphology and engineering of COVID-19.” (Like)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.
- Tomasz Wierzbicki, Wei Li, Yuming Liu, and Juner Zhu: The effect of receptors on resonant and transient harmonic vibrations of the Coronavirus, in Journal of Solids Mechanics and Physics (veröffentlicht Volume 150, May 2021), Solid State Mechanics and Physics Journal
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ultrasound has the ability to destroy corona viruses, as the study found (veröffentlicht 16.03.2021), With
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-medication. He cannot replace a visit to the doctor.
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