Silicon nitride

Crucial immune cells failing to respond to virus

An important set of immune cells is failing to respond properly to the novel coronavirus, providing a possible explanation for why some patients appear mildly ill at first and suddenly deteriorate, according to new research from Hong Kong. The dendritic cells are supposed to alert the immune system to the presence of virus or bacteria, so that other immune cells, called macrophages, can attack and “kill” the invaders. While infected macrophages respond properly to the virus, infected dendritic cells fail to send out their usual alarms in the form of proteins called interferons, researchers reported on Sunday in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Furthermore, in dendritic cells the virus inhibits a crucial protein called STAT1, which activates interferons and other important substances, these dendritic cell dysfunctions may contribute to symptoms in some patients.

Ceramic used in spine implants inactivates coronavirus

Silicon nitride, a ceramic often used in spinal implants because it kills bacteria by releasing disinfectant chemicals from its surface, can also inactivate the new coronavirus. In laboratory Japan exposed coronavirus particles to silicon nitride, aluminum nitride, and copper particles. All three materials showed greater than 99% viral inactivation after one minute, but silicone nitride is the safest of the three. Virus treated by the other two substances could still damage cells in other ways, the researchers reported on Saturday in a not-yet-peer-reviewed paper. “Further studies are needed to validate these findings and investigate whether silicon nitride can be incorporated into personal protective equipment and commonly touched surfaces, as a strategy to discourage viral persistence and disease spread. Shares of ceramics company

SiNtx Technologies Inc, which makes the silicon nitride powder, jumped 170 per cent on the report

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