ultraviolet light used as a treatment?

The idea was notably suggested by Donald Trump, among other proposals useless and dangerous. But researchers plan to emit ultraviolet light inside the body to kill the Covid-19 virus.

To kill viruses, ultraviolet (UV) rays are particularly effective. UV-C, in particular, would eradicate germs at 99.99%. That’s why UV lamps are used for disinfect public places (hospitals, buses, etc.) of the coronavirus, especially in Asia. If unlike chemicals, the solution is non-polluting, it has its limits: very aggressive, it is harmful for the skin and the eyes.

Apart from this problem, could UV be used to cleanse … the inside of our body ? The idea seems surreal, yet it is considered by researchers. In any case, this is explained by the president of the Institute of Physics and Energy Engineering (IPPE) Andrei Goverdovsky, in an interview given to Country Rosatom – the newsletter of the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatomspotted by Newsweek.

Through a mask or endoscope

In the June 2020 issue, he ensures that scientists are working on the development of a “light gas” emitting ultraviolet which inhaled, could fight the virus in the body. In fact, the idea is based on the ability of certain gases (mercury, hydrogen) to emit UV when they are excited.“We select molecules and gaseous components which, when inhaled, remain active and emit ultraviolet light directly into the lungs”, he develops.

It remains to find a source of energy to excite the gas. On the other side of the globe, a solution seems to approach that defended by Andrei Goverdovsky: the technical Healight, developed by the American medical center Cedars-Sinai and the pharmaceutical startup Aytu BioScience. It consists in delivering UV light into the body, through a probe inserted into the trachea, which descends to the target organ.

Our team has shown that administering a specific spectrum of UV-A light can eradicate viruses in infected human cells (including coronaviruses) and bacteria in the area while preserving healthy cells, says Mark Pimentel, research director taken over by Newsweek.

For the moment, research is at the preclinical stage. “In addition to the coronavirus, our method could be used to treat tuberculosis, the Cancer and other diseases ”, enthuses Andrei Goverdovsky, without giving more details.

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