One of the predominant modes of virus transmission is the inhalation ofcontaminated respiratory droplets containing viral pathogens through the nasal route, which leads toupper and lower respiratory tract infections. More than 100 different types of viruses cause respiratorydiseases, including rhinovirus, influenza, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus,enterovirus, coronavirus, and metapneumovirus. The virus initially attaches to the nasal lining, where itmultiplies, followed by spreading the infection into the airways. Although masks and respirators areeffective approaches for preventing viral infections, respiratory protection may compromise up to 60%due to gaps and edge seal leakage. The nasal cavity has the innate ability to filter out large airborneparticles from the inhaled air. The nasal spray formulation proposed here maximizes the capture of virus-containing large respiratory droplets in the nasal cavity, synergistically acts as a barrier to prevent virusentry through the nasal lining, and deactivates the virus within minutes.Read More
Along with other team members at Brigham and Women's hospital, we proposed a nasal sprayformulation that can be used either as an additional layer of protection along with the masks or as a stand-alone invisible shield. The nasal formulation consists of two components: a mucoadhesivepolymer/polysaccharide and a surfactant. I designed the spray formulations for this project and performedin vitro evaluations and in vivo experiments. I also screened the biopolymers for imperativecharacteristics such as antiviral activity, spray-ability, in-situ gelation, and mucoadhesion. Polymers wereidentified from the GRAS inventory of the FDA. The optimal concentration of biopolymers wasidentified based on the barrier property, superior spray-ability, maximum nasal coverage, mucosalretention, and virus entrapment within the polymeric chains of the hydrogel. Our technology involvesusing a nasal spray which forms a physical barrier in the nasal lining, which is the primary site for thevirus to enter the host. The uniform coating of the GRAS mucoadhesive polymer mixture in a largesurface area of the nasal cavity (150–200 cm2) will facilitate capturing the virus particles. Moreover, therelease of broad-spectrum OTC virucidal agents would instantly deactivate the viruses within the nasalcavity, followed by their mucociliary clearance. The spray is drug-free and will be cleared via mucus andexpelled from the body through digestion three to four hours after useRead More
The pocket-sized spray coats the nasal cavity for up to four hours without irritation orsensory impairment and can be used as a barrier against viral pathogens when masks are not feasible,such as while eating and drinking. The strategy has been designed to be easily integrated into daily lifeand would play a pivotal role in the context of current and future pandemics.Applictions
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital unveiled an array of cutting-edge medical technology in a Thursday virtual showcase that included a bedside teddy bear powered by artificial intelligence and a nasal spray that can prevent the spread of viruses. The Discover Brigham event united doctors and scientists from all corners of the medical community to share the latest research and development of ideas and products that can shape the health care industry. One such development is a nasal spray that can prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses by capturing and killing the inhaled aerosols in the nasal cavity. “In addition to containing the virus, the components of the formulation are also able to deactivate the virus within a few minutes of capture,” said John Joseph, BWH postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Nanomedicine.Read More..
BOSTON (WHDH) - Local researchers are working on a new way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when wearing a mask is not an option. While scientists all over the world are working at breakneck speeds to come up with therapeutics and vaccines to treat and prevent the novel coronavirus, Dr. Nitin Joshi and a team of doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are developing a different kind of weapon to fight the virus. The team is creating a special kind of nasal spray that will block the virus from entering the body. Something they hope to make available at any drug store. “What we are doing is we are trying to maximize the capability of the nose to capture the viruses and to kill them within minutes,” Joshi said. He said that 95 percent of COVID-19 transmission happens through the nose which would make the nasal spray an effective preventative measure. “It forms a layer, like a protective coating there which has an agent that can actually capture these respiratory droplets and capture the virus and doesn’t allow the virus to go into the body,” he explained. The team is taking a drug-free approach and using materials that have been FDA approved and used in nasal products for years. “We envision to develop this as an over-the-counter product that can be easily available to people and doesn’t require like a clinical prescription,” Joshi said. The doctors said each application could last up to four hours and that the spray itself would be both inexpensive and easily mass-produced for wide distribution. “We’re very eager to help children get back to school, travelers to safely travel again,” Dr. Jeff Karp said. “And you know when people take their masks off, to eat, for example, having a gel within the nose that can capture and kill the virus could just be another route to provide protection and reduce transmission.Read More..
Face masks and hand sanitizers are essential tools for health care workers to stave off the spread of COVID-19. But what if these essentials could be super charged? What if a nasal spray could provide a layer of protection as well as antiviral agents to keep the virus from entering through nasal mucosa or traveling to the lungs? And what if a new kind of sanitizer could provide long-acting protection for the hands and other surfaces? Long before COVID-19 started making headlines, the Karp lab was working on innovative projects with the goal of clinical translation. Now, when ideas for how to fight viral infections are needed more than ever, bioengineer Jeff Karp, PhD, of the Division of Engineering in Medicine, and his team are determined to build on these platforms but are doing so under constraints the Brigham research community has never experienced before. In the shadow of the pandemic, they are doing everything they can to develop their ideas but must innovate to find resources and a path forward for their projects. Jeff Karp “We have the capabilities, but these are extraordinarily challenging times to conduct research. Of course, it’s orders of magnitude more challenging for our colleagues on the clinical front lines, which is why we’re committed to finding ways to help,” said Karp. Since March 20, the Brigham has shut down its research labs and core facilities except those performing essential functions. Researchers who can continue their work remotely are doing so. “Under these restrictions, we’re trying to refine our ideas and propose what future experiments would look like.”Read More..
COVID-19 completely disrupted the work at Jeff Karp’s medical engineering lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. One company that was planning to do research with Karp and his students pulled out; Canadian undergraduate students were called home by their government and couldn’t finish their experiments; postdoctoral students whose work was scheduled to end in June and couldn’t finish had to move on to other commitments. Undergraduate summer interns couldn’t start work because the hospital had imposed a hiring freeze. Karp has chosen to look on the bright side. “There’s a lot of challenges that we face but at the same time there’s a lot of opportunities that are arising,” said the Canadian-born bioengineer based at the Brigham and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “There are multiple new projects that have come out of this.” The urgency to help patients and healthcare providers during the pandemic has enabled the Karp Lab — which has launched several companies over the years — to churn out technology that normally would have taken years to reach patients.Read More..
Covid-19 is raining down its fury on India in a way the world hasn’t seen before. The country has averaged about 300,000 cases daily for nearly 2 weeks now. Oxygen is running low; crematoriums are overwhelmed, and the government has been slow to mobilize global allies and its +28 million diaspora effectively. In the short-term, Indians seem to have forgotten they live in areas that don’t yet have herd immunity or a largely vaccinated population. India did not do enough over the last fourteen months to prepare adequately for variants of the virus, or to learn from the multiple waves of the virus that slammed other nations. Long-term, this crisis is a reflection of India’s chronic underinvestment in healthcare. According to its own data, India spends less than 3% of GDP on healthcare—the lowest among OECD nations. For Americans looking to support efforts to bring oxygen, additional ventilators and vaccine raw materials to India, there are several wonderful initiatives to connect with immediately. Some of the organizations include The Desai Foundation, which has grassroots teams providing community-based healthcare in the three hard-hit states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The American India Foundation is setting up 5000 hospital beds in Delhi, portable hospitals around India and sourcing cold-storage facilities for vaccine doses. Another large American charity, SEWA International, is sending 400 oxygen concentrators to India this week.Read More..