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Ultrasound has potential to damage coronavirus: study

Findings could be first clue of possible ultrasound-based treatment for COVID-19

Ibrahim Hakki Cetinkaya   | 17.03.2021
Ultrasound has potential to damage coronavirus: study FILE PHOTO

ANKARA 

A new study suggests that ultrasound waves can damage the protective shell around coronavirus strains. 

A team of scientists from the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conducted research which found that vibrations between 25 and 100 megahertz caused the virus’s shell and spikes to collapse and start to rupture within a fraction of a second, according to an article on the Tech Explorist website.

The scientists used computer simulations to model the virus's response to vibrations at a range of ultrasound frequencies for the study.

They noted that the ultrasound vibrations should be within the frequencies used in medical imaging.

"We’ve proven that under ultrasound excitation, the coronavirus shell and spikes will vibrate, and the amplitude of that vibration will be very large, producing strains that could break certain parts of the virus, doing visible damage to the outer shell and possibly invisible damage to the RNA inside. The hope is that our paper will initiate a discussion across various disciplines," said Tomasz Wierzbicki, a professor of applied mechanics at MIT.

The scientists noted that the findings they obtained from the study could be the first clue of a possible ultrasound-based treatment for COVID-19.

According to the article, their next goal is to understand how ultrasound can be applied in treatment and to determine its full effect in damaging the virus inside the human body.

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