Department of Biotechnology’s Centre of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (DBT-CIAB) at Mohali has planned a bouquet of research projects aimed at generating products that could be used for prevention, diagnosis or cure for the deadly Covid-19 infection that is currently sweeping over the entire world.

The plan has been designed to utilise the expertise of its scientists, who come from a diverse range of research backgrounds including chemistry, chemical engineering, biotechnology, molecular biology, nutrition, and nanotechnology.

Under the preventive platform, the Institute has planned to work on lignin-derived noble metal nanocomplexes for developing antiviral coating materials, and rose oxide-enriched citronella oil, carbopol and triethanolamine-formulated alcoholic sanitizer.

Under the therapeutics platform, the effort will be focussed on polypyrrollic photosensitizers and their nanoformulations for antiviral photodynamic therapy, microbial production of immunomodulatory and antiviral fructan biomolecules, and development and commercial manufacturing of nasal spray kit to ease chest congestion suffered in corona infection, etc.

Under the drug discovery platform, in turn, the research will explore the separation of therapeutic and valuable medicinal components from the peel and seeds of fruits and utilisation of natural garlic essential oil as an ACE 2 protein inhibitor for preventing SARS-CoV-2 invasion.

Besides, studies are to be conducted for the development of lignin-derived nanocarriers (LNCs) with potential for antiviral drug delivery and using curcumin-fortified whey protein powder as a nutraceutical.

The researchers would endeavour to come out with products that are biocompatible, low-cost and scalable and have set out with a timeline of six months to one year. The studies would be conducted in collaboration with chemical industries and other government laboratories with BSL-3 facility.

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(India Science Wire)