How Does A Surfactant Work Against a Virus in The Nasal Mucosa
What is a Surfactant (Soap)?
The science of Surfactants (Soap)
Soap is a surface-active agent also known as a Surfactant for short. They are made up of two parts, a hydrophobic (water-hating) part, as well as a hydrophilic (water-loving) part. Also regarded as a ‘head’ (normally the hydrophilic bit), and a ‘tail’ (normally the hydrophobic bit).
When these molecules are mixed with water or saline, they stand alone or as groups known as micelles. Micelles are spherical structures within which all of the tails face inwards, away from the water, and all of the heads face outwards, coming into contact with water. If there is enough of the surfactant (soap), this is the form that it likes the most, as it is the most energetically favourable, and all the parts of the molecule are exactly where they want to be.
So what happens when these micelles interact with the virus in the nose and nasal mucosa.
Viruses like the coronavirus are surrounded by a phospholipid layer – a structure system containing many molecules which are similar to a surfactant. This is a bilayer, one layer of phospholipids with tails facing in, and heads facing out.
As the surfactant soap enters the nose these surfactant molecules come into contact with the virus and look for places where there is no water, and as they do this they start to surround the virus particles. As this happens the tails of the surfactant starts to wedge themselves into the outer layer of the virus, trying to get to the centre, where there is no water.
This effect is very similar to popping a balloon with a pin.
As the surfactant enters the coat of the virus, it splits the virus apart, breaking it open, and releasing the contents of the virus into the surrounding soap/saline solution, and is washed away.
Salex Nasal Products Now contain a surfactant.
Salex Nasal Sprays with the added suffix “SF” have a surfactant added to the 0.72% Saline already present.
They are Salex SF Metered Spray and Salex SF Paediatric Metered Spray and the new Salex Nasal spray called Salex XS.
All the dult Salex SSR products are supplied with the Salex Surfactant in a separate dropper bottle, and 5 drops of this are added to the Rinse Solution once made up
The Salex Surfactant should be combined with a Saline Sinus Rinse and should NOT be used on its own. The surfactant lowers the interfacial tension between thick, sticky mucus and the nasal mucosa allowing the mucus to loosen and flow out of the nose even easier than with just saline alone. The saline helps the mucus flow out the front of the nose to create a Pre-nasal drip.
What is it used for?
- Salex Surfactant combined with a Saline Sinus Rinse helps to clear Sinonasal Congestion caused by:
- Sinusitis (Chronic or Acute)
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Chronic Rhino-sinusitis
- Colds and Flu
- Removal of Biofilms
- Rebound Congestion (caused by overuse of Decongestant Nasal Sprays)
- Destruction of Viruses