An new biomaterial of marine origin that destroys SARS-CoV-2, Calcium alginate, which is extracted from brown algae and can be used to manufacture textiles, paper, biodegradable packaging, food, cosmetics or biomedicine, among other uses, has been discovered by research staff at the Catholic University of Valencia (UCV )
The Biomaterials and Bioengineering Laboratory of the UCV, led by Professor Ángel Serrano, has published its research in the international scientific journal ‘Polymers’, according to a statement from the UCV, which indicates that calcium alginate is non-toxic and even edible, since it is a material used by many chefs in haute cuisine.
Its validity for the manufacture of health technology has been verified both in the facilities of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Experimental Sciences of the UCV and in those of the University of Kyoto (Japan), where has been validated against the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Alginates are hydrophilic biopolymers with an immense range of biomedical applications due to their excellent chemical, physical and biological properties, and before the pandemic their properties were already known and they were approved for medical use; their biodegradable and biocompatible nature made them promising materials in the fight against virus transmission.
After several projects with alginates, the research group led by Serrano, belonging to the San Alberto Magno Translational Research Center (Citsam), has studied on this occasion the cytotoxicity and antiviral activity of calcium alginate in the form of films against viruses enveloped like SARS-CoV-2.
The results have shown that these films, prepared by the solvent evaporation technique and subsequent cross-linking with calcium cations, are biocompatible in human keratinocytes and capable of inactivating viruses enveloped as bacteriophage phi 6 and the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
The predoctoral researcher from the UCV Alba Cano and the researchers Rina Hashimoto and Kazuo Takayama from the University of Kyoto have participated in this work, according to the sources.