Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a chewing gum that significantly decreases the amount of Coronavirus particles in the saliva, which could help in slowing down the COVID-19 transmission across the world.
According to a recent study published in the Molecular Therapy journal, the gum has a protein that absorbs the tiny Coronavirus droplets when people infected with the virus talk, breathe or cough.
The study’s lead author and Vice Chairman of Basic and Translational Sciences at Pennsylvania University, Henry Daniell, has said that the gum looks, feels, and tastes like a normal gum and can be stored at room temperature.
If produced on a large scale, the gum can offer a highly affordable strategy to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic by decreasing the transmission of the virus.
About the Gum
The experimental chewing gum contains copies of the ACE2 receptor. This receptor is a protein that is found on the surface of different types of cells, including those of the lungs, heart, kidneys, and liver.
The spike protein of the Coronavirus attaches to these receptors and allows the virus to attack the human body. Keeping this thing in mind, the gum has been designed to absorb most of the virus in the saliva of an infected person. It is worth mentioning here that chewing the gum doesn’t damage the ACE receptors in it.
Pennsylvania researchers also conducted test-tube experiments of the gum. Most of the virus particles attached to the ACE2 receptors in the gum and the viral load in the saliva samples decreased by more than 95%.