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A potential new weapon in the fight against COVID-19: Food coloring

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A potential new weapon in the fight against COVID-19: Food coloring

Photo caption: The prototype of device that uses food coloring to neutralize airborne viruses being demonstrated in a classroom.Young Kim, Purdue UniversityCC BY-ND. Authors: Young Kim, Hee-Jae Jeon, Jung Woo Leem and Yuhyun Ji.

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Our biomedical engineering lab has developed a way to potentially neutralize viruses lingering in the air using aerosols of FDA-approved food coloring dyes. Aerosols are tiny bits of solid or liquid matter suspended in air.

Our idea was inspired by photodynamic therapy, which is a medical treatment, including for certain types of cancer. Photodynamic therapy uses a photosensitizer, a chemical that reacts with oxygen in the presence of light, to produce oxygen free radicals. These radicals are highly reactive, meaning they trigger other chemical reactions, including ones that kill harmful pathogens. […]

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