Interpretation of SARS-CoV-2 behaviour on different substrates and denaturation of virions using ethanol: an atomic force microscopy study
Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a respiratory infection virus that was first detected in Wuhan, China. The virus causes COVID-19 disease and the outbreak was recognised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. SARS-CoV-2 virion was first imaged using cryo-electron microscopy by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Atomic Force Microscopy is a unique technique that can allow imaging of biomolecules under different conditions. In this work, we used Atomic Force Microscopy to characterize SARS-CoV-2 on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) and glass coverslip surfaces. We isolated SARS-CoV-2 and drop casted it on coverslip glass and tissue culture polystyrene surfaces. We analyzed height profiles, density, and aggregation behavior of the virion on glass and polystyrene surfaces. We observed the coffee ring effect on the drop casted samples and close packing of virions near the coffee rings on both surfaces with relatively higher virion distribution on the tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) substrates. We compare virion agglomeration on the two types of surfaces. Finally, we applied ethanol disinfectant to virions on the surface to visualize the effect of ethanol and image the ultrastructure of SARS-CoV-2.
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