Coronavirus: Probing for particles at Oak Ridge National Lab

·1 min read
Researchers used an atomic force microscope, pictured here, to test how easily particles of the novel coronavirus cling to certain surfaces, a property known as adhesion energy.
Researchers used an atomic force microscope, pictured here, to test how easily particles of the novel coronavirus cling to certain surfaces, a property known as adhesion energy.

A study by U.S. Department of Energy researchers detailed a potential method to find the novel coronavirus on surfaces.

Scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, along with Pacific Northwest, Sandia and Ames national laboratories used an atomic force microscope to measure how easily particles of the virus’s spike protein attached to surfaces, a property called adhesion energy.

Ali Passian
Ali Passian

Funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the research also examined ways to chemically identify viral particles collected at the nanoscale level — about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, an ORNL news release stated.

“Our findings show this is a viable potential method to gauge infectious amounts and could lead to a greater understanding of whether particular surfaces carry greater risk for transmitting the virus,” said ORNL’s Ali Passian, one of the study’s authors. “The method can be applied to detect other viruses and could be used to develop antiviral materials for surfaces.”

This article originally appeared on Oakridger: Coronavirus: Probing for particles at Oak Ridge National Lab

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