The latest research by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) written on their official blog, shows that ultrasound vibrations have the potential to damage the Corona virus (Covid-19).
The vibrations must be at the frequencies used in medical diagnostic imaging.
The scientists used computer simulations to model the viral response to vibrations at various ultrasound frequencies.
The team of experts identified that vibrations between the range of 25 and 100 megahertz, trigger the shell and spike protein of the virus to collapse and begin to crack within a fraction of a millisecond.
This impact was found in simulations of viruses in air and water.
“The results are still preliminary and are based on only limited data regarding the physical properties of the virus. These findings are the first clues about possible ultrasound-based treatments for the coronavirus, including those that cause Covid-19,” said the experts, quoted from Tech Explorist, Monday (22/22/2020). 3/2021).
According to Tomasz Wierzbicki, professor of applied mechanics at MIT, his team has proven that under that ultrasound excitation, it causes visible damage to the outer shell of the virus and possibly invisible damage to the RNA inside.
Just like other Corona viruses, Covid-19 is spherical in shape and has a protein called spike like spikes that protrude on its surface.
Currently, experts still do not know the material properties of nails because they are very small, about 10 nanometers.
“We also don’t know what’s inside the virus, where it contains RNA surrounded by a protein capsid shell, so this modeling still requires a lot of data,” said Wierzbicki.
He believes that the virus model created is a good starting point.
“Now, the question is what kind of stress and tension caused the virus to break out,” he said.
To find the answer, the scientists used acoustic vibrations in simulations.
The team started with vibrations of 100 megahertz or 100 million cycles per second and observed how the vibrations rippled through the structure of the virus at various ultrasonic frequencies.
When experts exposed the virus to 100 MHz ultrasonic waves, the virus’s natural vibrations were initially undetectable.
But within a fraction of a millisecond, external vibrations resonate with the virus’ natural oscillatory frequency, causing the shell and spikes to bend inward.
When there is an increase in amplitude, intensity, and vibration, the viral shell can break.
At frequencies lower than 25 MHz and 50 MHz, the virus bends and divides more rapidly, both at simulated levels of air and water, which are similar in density to fluids in the body.
“These frequencies and intensities are within the safe range for medical imaging,” concludes Wierzbicki.
The scientists are now working with microbiologists in Spain to refine and validate these findings.
Wierzbicki stressed that there is still much research to be done to determine whether ultrasound can be an effective treatment and prevention strategy against the Corona virus.