By Prof. Ir. Dr. Ahmad Faizul Shamsudin (Professor, Faculty of Science and Technology, Quest International University)
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much linking Mechatronics Engineering to the COVID-19 virus. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering that integrates mechanics, electronics, robotics, control and automation. Meanwhile from an engineering perspective, COVID-19 is a lifeless lipid protein; a replica of a natural coronavirus with embedded novel DNA codes that allow it to transform, adapt and destroy.
While our heroic frontliners are battling the spread of the disease and saving our lives, scientists are working around the clock to decipher the scientific puzzle that has made this virus a global game-changer. And all of us – including those of us in the engineering sector – have a role to play.
As COVID-19 continues to mutate, we are continuing to learn new things about the virus. Earlier this month, the US Centres for Disease Control reportedly said that while uncommon, COVID-19 is able to spread via tiny particles in the air. This illustrates how important it is for all sections of the scientific community to find a long-term solution to a problem that is continuously evolving.
At QIU, the School of Engineering is using the knowledge of mechatronics to neutralise the elusive and evolving COVID-19 bio-arsenal. One approach is to use the principles of thermodynamics on DNA nucleic lipid proteins—the inner-working mechanisms of COVID-19.
Using Feynman’s theory of nano-level communication between the lipid protein molecules, the aim is to increase molecular agitation and accelerate decay. This will be shown by the Von Neuman entropy of molecular activity.
So how can we do this? A nano-robot can be designed and fabricated to modulate the inner workings of the COVID-19 lipid protein molecules. It will infuse the DNA nucleic lipid proteins with a pseudo-DNA switching mechanism to enhance its decay.
Instead of surviving for several hours when airborne and days on certain surfaces, it could decay in minutes—or even seconds—depending on the infused pseudo-DNA switching mechanism. This would be achieved without thermal treatment, chemicals or high pressure.
Fabrication of the nano-robots will use a re-engineered and patented RMT (Re- Configurable Manufacturing Tool), while the intrusive pseudo-DNA switching mechanism for the nucleic lipid proteins of COVID-19 will be done with the patent-filed SpotFire mechanism.
The innovations of today are the solutions that change the world of tomorrow. Throughout our history, we have dealt with crises through a combination of human spirit and scientific discovery. All we have to do is focus our scientific research on solving real-world problems.
Note: Some of the approaches described are adopted from two Patents registered and filed respectively by the authors from Quest International University’s School of Engineering, under its Faculty of Science and Technology.