A newly created virus trap promises to catch influenza virus accurately, preventing its spread from one person to another.
Researchers at the University of Manchester in collaboration with a biotechnology company Virustatic have developed the trap. The trap is a fabric coating for masks and air filters that isolate the influenza virus.
‘The ‘flu trap’ developed by researchers at the University of Manchester is a fabric coating that captures and isolates viral particles causing influenza.’
The fabric layer mimics the carbohydrate structures on the surfaces of cells that line the esophagus and the respiratory airways.
Paul Hope, director of Virustatic, said, "It's a whole new preventative approach to disease and if implemented could be transformative. We're now at the stage where we're looking for strategic partners to take this technology forwards in terms of developing new products."
The team first discovered a way to incorporate the glycoproteins on a carbon cloth and then came up with techniques to anchor them on less expensive materials like cotton.
Dr. Ian Rowles, of University of Manchester, said, "This has been an exciting collaboration with Virustatic, and our research does indeed show that this technology can slow the spread of flu viruses."
These researchers are now planning to develop a trap for capturing coronavirus causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).