Context: The Department of Science and Technology– Science and Engineering Board (DST-SERB) has announced several special research projects for COVID-19.
These projects calls to urgently ramp up national R&D efforts against the epidemic.
OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECTS FOR COVID-19
- DST-SERB has launched a total of 5 projects to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Out of these 5 projects, 3 projects concern the highly important issue of antiviral and virustatic surface coating of inanimate surfaces such as personal protection equipment (PPE);
- One among these projects deals with the identification of metabolite biomarkers in CoVID-19 infected patients. This will enable the therapeutic target identification;
- The last of the 5 projects, concerns with the development of antibodies against the receptor-binding domain of the spike glycoprotein of coronavirus.
KEY DETAILS OF THE PROJECTS
PROJECT 1: Identification of global metabolite biomarkers in CoVID-19 infected patients for targeted therapy
- This will identify the global metabolite biomarkers in CoVID-19 infected patients.
- It will also help in search of potential biomarker signature for CoVID infection and aid in recognition of novel targets for therapy.
PROJECT 2: Development of functionalized inanimate surfaces with repurposable multi-targeted viricidal agents/drugs for preventive and cost-effective antiviral applications
- It will help develop viricidal coatings for inanimate surfaces used in healthcare settings. These inanimate surfaces includes surgical masks and suits for the prevention of infectious diseases caused by highly contagious pathogens.
PROJECT 3: Development of antiviral surface coatings to prevent the spread of infections caused by influenza virus
- The main objective of the proposal is to develop small molecular and polymeric compounds.
- These compounds will be coated (both covalently as well as non-covalently) on various surfaces and kill respiratory viruses completely upon contact.
PROJECT 4: Development of formulations for viral decontamination of inanimate surfaces
- This will help in development of material which may be used as a virus tactic.
- Such materials can be applied to mops to disinfect the surfaces to remove any adhering viruses or bacteria.
PROJECT 5: Antibody-based capture of 2019-nCoV and its inactivation using lipid-based in situ gel
- This project will help in developoping antibodies against the receptor-binding domain of the spike glycoprotein of CoV involved in recognizing a host cell-surface recepto called zinc peptidase angiotensin-converting enzyme 2.
- Another objective is to develop unsaturated free fatty acid-based emulsion which is loaded in-situ gels.
- This emulsion will help to inactivate the virus at the point of entry.
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