CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Sensory Cloud announced today the publication of a paper in the journal Molecular Frontiers highlighting the effectiveness of nasal administration of physiological salts at reducing airborne particles from exhaled breath including the sub-micron aerosolized particles that are ineffectively filtered by surgical face masks. Sensory Cloud, creator of FEND, is a technology startup that designs solutions to problems of human wellbeing and healthcare through pioneering discoveries at the frontiers of olfaction and respiratory biology,
The new paper, authored by Sensory Cloud founder Dr. David Edwards (John A. Paulson School of Engineering, Harvard University), Dr. Robert Langer (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT), and others, observed 92 men, women and children in three separate studies showcasing the use of FEND in various situations: in the workplace, quarantining at home, and in comparison to cloth face masks. The studies assessed how FEND, a drug-free calcium-enriched nasal salt, would interact with airway lining mucus to cleanse the airways of bioaerosols. The results showed a reduction of exhaled aerosol particles of up to 99%, with an overall reduction of exhaled particles in the largest cohort of human subjects (76 workers) of around 75%.
This new research reinforces previous work from Dr. Edwards and Dr. Langer, published earlier this summer in the journal QRB Discovery, which discussed the scientific findings of calcium-enriched salts as a hygienic intervention in the fight against COVID-19.
"The findings, which build on an earlier study this summer, suggest that we can provide what is, in effect, a nasal filter to protect at-risk populations from viral carrying aerosols," said Edwards. "Access to a new hygiene protocol for reducing the spread of these smallest particles, which can otherwise be dispersed into indoor air and enter deep into our lungs, can be an important intervention as we head back to work and school, as winter approaches, and as troubling data about rates of infection continue to emerge."
In the first study, 76 COVID-negative volunteers (including 74 workers and two children) from No Evil Foods in Asheville, NC, ages 15-66, were recruited. Prior to the nasal hygiene intervention, the measured exhaled aerosol from the 76 workers followed a classical "super spreading" distribution, with 20% of participants accounting for 80% of the overall exhaled aerosol. Within the "super spreader" group, half of the individuals (or the top 10% of exhaled particle producers) were found to be responsible for 80% of the super-spreader production – or 64% of the overall production. The 76 volunteers then received FEND, a drug-free nasal saline hygiene formulation of calcium chloride and sodium chloride in distilled water and administered via a mist of 9 - 10-micron diameter droplets by a hand-held mister.
The FEND intervention suppressed 84% of exhaled aerosols for the highest producing super-spreaders and 78% overall for all super-spreaders. Overall, exhaled aerosols among all participants did not change after a nasal saline control intervention, Simply Saline from Arm & Hammer, a nasal spray of isotonic sodium chloride.
"Health and safety is a huge priority at No Evil Foods," said Sadrah Schadel, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of No Evil Foods. "Having the chance to actually see FEND work, clearing particles from our exhaled breath, was an overwhelmingly positive experience for our team."
The second study evaluated the exhaled aerosols of a volunteer family of four in quarantine with one COVID-positive mother, following them for five days starting at eight days post-symptoms for the mother. The mother's exhaled aerosols showed extremely high output on days eight and nine. After receiving the FEND intervention, her levels decreased to average baseline levels for a COVID-negative patient, with suppression lasting several hours following the intervention.
The final study compared the use of FEND to surgical mask use in 12 children and adults. The surgical masks reduced overall exhaled particles by around 34% for the group, while FEND reduced overall exhaled particles by 46% — with one individual showing no statistical difference on using the mask or FEND, possibly for failure to administer properly. Excluding the outlier subject, exhaled aerosols were reduced by 59% when wearing masks and 87% following the FEND intervention. The differential benefit of FEND was due to its more effective reduction of sub-micron aerosol particles, given that most exhaled aerosol particles for all individuals are sub-micron.
The paper concludes that FEND can be an important addition to current COVID-19 hygiene protocols of mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing. FEND adds to the efficacy of masks at reducing the penetration of respiratory droplets into the lungs or back into the environment and provides an added layer of defense for when mask wearing is not a possibility.
"We continue to support human volunteer studies in the USA and overseas, exploring unique hygiene protocols for collaborative teams, and deepening our understanding of nasal salt hygiene among those infected with COVID-19," said Edwards. "As FEND comes to market in coming weeks, we will prioritize distribution to healthcare professionals, and other essential workers in the USA and in countries around the world that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we scale up production, we hope also to be helpful to clearing the air for children and teachers in public schools around the world."
Dr. Edwards, along with colleagues from MIT, Tulane School of Medicine and others also recently submitted a pre-print on the MedRxiv server while under journal peer review. The paper observes the increased quantity of exhaled particles in COVID-positive human and non-human primates. The primates showed the same pattern of exhaled aerosols throughout the trajectory of the infection, peaking on days 8 and 9 before coming back down. Exhaled aerosol numbers appear to be not only an indicator of disease progression, but also a marker of disease risk in non-infected individuals, as those with particularly elevated aerosol numbers (notably, from the study, the elderly and obese) are also at risk for most severe symptoms.
About Sensory Cloud
Sensory Cloud is a Boston-based technology startup company that designs solutions to problems of human wellbeing and healthcare through pioneering discoveries at the frontiers of olfaction and respiratory biology. Sensory Cloud is developing a proprietary line of consumer products based on its proprietary olfaction and calcium-salt platforms for human health and wellbeing. The Company is launching its new hygienic product FEND (hellofend.com) from the second week of October 2020.
About Molecular Frontiers Journal
Open access since 2017 the Molecular Frontiers Journal fosters exploration and discovery, helping to realize science's promise. Connecting scientists from a multitude of disciplines around matters of global significance, it serves to encourage new perspectives on scientific quandaries that can lead to breakthroughs.
About World Scientific Publishing Co.
World Scientific Publishing is a leading international independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research and professional communities. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organisations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. The company publishes about 600 books and over 140 journals in various fields annually. To find out more about World Scientific, visit www.worldscientific.com
SOURCE Sensory Cloud