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Insights on drying and precipitation dynamics of respiratory droplets from the perspective of COVID-19

Basu, S; Kabi, P; Chaudhuri, S; Saha, A; (2020) Insights on drying and precipitation dynamics of respiratory droplets from the perspective of COVID-19. Physics of Fluids , 32 (12) , Article 123317. 10.1063/5.0037360.

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Abstract

We isolate a nano-colloidal droplet of surrogate mucosalivary fluid to gain fundamental insights into airborne nuclei's infectivity and viral load distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. The salt-water solution containing particles at reported viral loads is acoustically trapped in a contactless environment to emulate the drying, flow, and precipitation dynamics of real airborne droplets. Similar experiments validate observations with the surrogate fluid with samples of human saliva samples from a healthy subject. A unique feature emerges regarding the final crystallite dimension; it is always 20%-30% of the initial droplet diameter for different sizes and ambient conditions. Airborne-precipitates nearly enclose the viral load within its bulk while the substrate precipitates exhibit a high percentage (∼80-90%) of exposed virions (depending on the surface). This work demonstrates the leveraging of an inert nano-colloidal system to gain insights into an equivalent biological system.

Type: Article
Title: Insights on drying and precipitation dynamics of respiratory droplets from the perspective of COVID-19
Location: United States
DOI: 10.1063/5.0037360
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0037360
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136027
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