COVID-19 virus has spread rapidly throughout the world, a crisis which the World Health Organisation has termed as a pandemic. Given the lack of availability of suitable chemotherapeutic interventions and an efficacious vaccine, the global population has been hit hard with utmost vulnerability to the current coronavirus outbreak.
In view of increasing spread of CoVID-19 infections in India, the Department of Science and Technology-- Science and Engineering Board (DST-SERB) has announced several special research projects to urgently ramp up national R&D efforts against the epidemic.
The first set of 5 projects have been selected for further development into implementable technologies.
The first project will help in search of potential metabolite biomarker signature for CoVID infection and recognition of novel targets for therapy.
The second project will help develop viricidal coatings for inanimate surfaces used in healthcare settings such as surgical masks for the prevention of infectious diseases caused by highly contagious pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome-related novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
Third project concerns development of antiviral surface coatings to prevent the spread of infections caused by influenza virus. The objective of the proposal is to develop small molecular and polymeric compounds which will be coated, both covalently as well as non-covalently, on various surfaces and kill respiratory viruses completely upon contact.
Fourth project will develop material which may be used as a virus tactic and be applied to mops to disinfect the surfaces to remove any adhering viruses or bacteria.
Fifth project relates to development of antibody-based capture of 2019-nCoV and its inactivation using lipid-based in situ gel.
The projects were selected after peer-review and assessment by a Special Expert Committee for COVID-19 projects.